June 2021

A publication of the Howard County Office of Children and Families
Family Institute

June Workshops
Nothing I Do Works: A Parent’s Guide to Challenging Behaviors
The Pyramid Model is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all of the factors that impact a child, family and a child's behavior. Learn how to decrease negative behaviors and what to do when they occur. Ask questions and leave with skills and resources that you can use immediately to help you feel more confident in your parenting. For children ages two to eight.
Wednesday, June 16, 7:oo to 8:00 p.m. Click here for registration

Nurturing Your Child’s Temperament
Every child is unique in their own special way and are children are born with distinct ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Some may be curious while others are more cautious, some may be outgoing while others are timid. This ‘wiring’ is called temperament and it’s an important part of how your child reacts to the world. Join us for an engaging discussion on child temperament and leave with understanding on how you can best support your little one no matter what temperament they possess. This workshop will be geared towards caregivers of children birth to five years old. Pre-registration is required to receive meeting link. This workshop will be offered virtually via WebEx.
Tuesday, June 29, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Click here for registration
The Basics Howard County provides parents activities and ideas to share with their children. The program also links parents to science based brain development information. The third principle of the Basics, Count, Group, and Compare helps children make sense of numbers and categories around them. To begin sharing with your infant, compare sizes and talk to your infant about what is little or big. For example, you may say “Who wears the little hat? Who wears the big hat?” You may also give your child a container and have them scoop up and dump out water in the bathtub. Use words like “in and out or full and empty”. For toddlers, make a game out of adding and subtracting from a set of objects. You may set out three small objects and ask “how many are there?' Take one away and ask, “how many are there now?” These simple activities enhance your child’s brain development and early learning. For more information click here.

The Basics Howard County texting program is geared for families with children birth to three years. This program provides tips on activities to enjoy with your child connecting evidence-based strategies for brain development. Sign up for the free Basics Insights text message here (available in English and Spanish). To learn more, visit here or email children@howardcountymd.gov
2021 Summer Reading Challenge: Tails and Tales

Children, teens, and adults are invited to participate in Howard County Library System's Summer Reading that began June 1, 2021. Customers may register and participate by signing up online at hcls.readsquared.com, printing a copy and handing in at the library or by downloading the free ReadSquared app. Visit http://hclibrary.org/summer/ 
for more details. Available in multiple languages. 
New in Libby: Music Lessons from ArtistWorks 
The Libby app, which offers eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines, now offers access to free online music lessons from ArtistWorks. ArtistWorks offers instrument and voice instruction through video lessons by Grammy Award winning professionals. You provide the instrument and ArtistWorks provides lessons from beginning to advanced instruction in both string and band. To get started, download the free Libby app, log in with your HCLS card, then look for ArtistWorks in the “Extras” section. Never used Libby before? Watch this video to learn more. 
Summer Tails and Tales: The Basics 
Saturdays, June 5,12, 19, 26/July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31/August 7, 14, 21, 28 
10:15 to 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 to 11:15 a.m. 
Ages birth to five 
Howard County Library-Central Branch Patio 
An open-air family class for young learners with songs, stories and activities. This class will also feature information about "The Basics", a program for caregivers of children ages birth-three. Tickets are available 15 minutes before the start of the class. Check howardcounty.librarycalendar.com for updates. 
Limiting Screens this Summer 
Screen time (using smart phones/tablets, watching tv/movies and playing video games) is a big part of all our lives. But too much screen time can have negative effects, especially for children. Excessive screen time can limit learning through play, child-parent bonding, as well as physical activity. There are things we can do to help limit screen time.
  • Set clear and consistent limits for screen time in your home.  
  • Treat screen time as a privilege that kids can earn, instead of a right that they are entitled to.   
  • Set a good example by limiting your own screen time. 
  • Provide fun and engaging non-screen entertainment such as books, toys, puzzles, games, arts and crafts.  
  • Create a “Boredom Buster Jar” as a family. Write on popsicle sticks or small pieces of paper screen free activities that the kids can do on their own. Then they can pull one out whenever needed. (Check out the free boredom buster printable below.)  
  • Turn off all screens during meals; instead use this time to connect as a family.  
  • Engage in fun alternatives to screen time together as a family such as going on a walk, having a game night, baking a yummy treat, or reading together.  
Now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to engage in less screen time and more together time as a family!  
Monthly Challenge: Find two new ways to limit screen time in your home this month. 

120 Boredom Buster Activities - Free printable 
The Power of Play 
Play and Development:  
Play is the most powerful tool to help your child learn and foster healthy brain development. Through play, your young child is making many different connections that contribute to his/her growth. 

What does play look like? 
Play should be fun, unstructured, and child directed. Play can take place both indoors and outdoors. Play does not require fancy toys, nor does it necessarily need a designated space. It just needs a safe environment that promotes engagement, exploration, and positive development. 

Who should play?  
Parents should play. The best way for your child to learn invaluable skills that are listed in the chart above, is through interacting with your child. Children need you to get down on the floor, follow their lead and play without distraction. Through play, you are not only strengthening the bond between you and your child, but you can promote development across all the different areas through conversation, positive feedback, modeling appropriate and expected behaviors and strengthening that trusting relationship. As adults, we often forget how to have fun and what it is like to see the world through the eyes of a child. While your child reminds you of all of the benefits of play, they will never know how much you are helping them. 
Additional Resources: 
Raising Confident Kids
We all want our kids to be confident, but at times kids struggle to learn the crucial skills needed to master new challenges and cope with setbacks. With the stress and disruption of this past year, raising confident kids may seem tougher than ever. Child Mind Institute offers 12 Tips for Raising Confident Children. The focus is on how to build self worth in children and help them learn ways to handle challenges. Parents can help by modeling confidence and showing children it’s ok to make mistakes. (Available in Spanish )
Scholarships for Prenatal Classes
Howard County General Hospital offers prenatal classes for expectant parents. In partnership with the Howard County Health Department and Office of Children and Families, scholarships are available for a limited time to families interested in attending classes. Classes include childbirth and infant health education. For more information visit hchealth.org
New Apps from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) presents free early literacy apps for parents and caregivers to use with their children for fun, rewarding interactions on screen and off, laying the foundations for reading and learning. The three apps Small Wonders, Photo Play and Animal Antics offer tips to help you build your child’s language through games, songs and activities. By interaction and back and forth conversation, children expand their vocabulary and set the stage for reading. Click here for more information.
EMPOWERing Healthy Families: The Importance of Preconception Care 
Wednesday, June 9, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. 
Free Webinar: Register here
Howard County Health Department: Bureau of Child Health is hosting a webinar on the importance of Preconception Care for a healthy pregnancy and infancy. The goal is to educate OB Providers, Primary Care Providers, other clinical and social service providers and Howard County families on the critical idea that healthy pregnancies begin long before babies are conceived. Dr. Donna Neale and Dr. Abby Aina from Johns Hopkins Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Howard County General will be sharing their expertise.
Infant and Toddler Safety, Childproofing and CPR 
Thursday, June 10 and July 8, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 
$45 per couple 
Learn about car, sleep and water safety, childproofing, and more. Watch a video demonstration of Infant CPR and airway blockage/choking response techniques. Recommended for parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of babies and children up to four years old. This course is taught at an adult-level and is not a certification course. Register at hcgh.org/events. For more information, contact jstanto6@jhmi.edu.  
Finding Focus 
We all become overwhelmed at times and aren’t sure what to do. Child Mind Institute suggests telling yourself "just do the next right thing”. This mantra helps to shift your attention from a big problem to something smaller, something to focus on. Children can use this easy strategy to work through their big feelings as well. Try using the senses to help children learn to focus. Here are a few playful ideas: 
  • Noticing nature. What do you see around you? Birds in trees, colors in leaves, ripples on a pond, the croak of a frog, the buzz of a bee? 
  • Draw what you see. Choose an object close by, and invite kids to draw what they see. Point out things they might look for, like shape, color, texture, light, and shadow. 
  • Take it apart. Introduce a simple machine to kids, like a teeter-totter. What are its parts? Ask, “How do you think it might work?” 
Summer Dinner Salad
with Wild Rice
Add everything to a BIG bowl and dress it up! This grain dinner salad is so weighty that it calls for a light salad dressing. A simple vinaigrette will get the job done. A bit of Dijon mustard offers a nice twist without masking any of the wonderful fresh produce. And to garnish, pile your salad bowl high with fresh chopped basil. Other herbs are wonderful too. Oregano, thyme, mint, chives, you name it! Click here for recipe.
Studies show that kids can lose up to two months worth of learning over the summer, but for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, it's critical that they continue with engaging educational activities to retain what they've learned. ADDitude offers some fun, friendly summer brain builders to keep children learning. Have your child read everyday or review math skills with games. Monopoly is a great way to practice counting, adding and subtracting. For more ideas click here .
Blandair "Play-for-All" Playground now Open!
Blandair Regional Park's "play-for-all" playground is now open! The six unique areas are designed to encourage children of all ability levels to play together. Inlaid checkerboards, ping pong tables and horseshoe pits are a few activities families can enjoy. Storage for sports equipment, pedestrian pathways and a pavilion can also be found at the park.
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