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Fine Arts For Kids

Molding a kid into a successful person not only involves good grades and knowledge gathered from the classroom, but also involves other kids activities including expression through art. Art is often seen as a   pastime for which many do not have enough time to indulge in due to their busy schedules. However, it is one of the most important aspects of education for the holistic development of a child’s personality.

Fine arts for kids is not just limited to drawing and painting but encompasses a lot more such as printmaking, collages, mixed media, sculpting, architecture, engraving, music, theatre, etc. Exposing children to such forms of art during their free time will do much more good to them than letting them slouch in front of TVs and computer screens. Here is a list of some major benefits that children who are involved in artwork experience:

  • Improvement in academic performance: In addition to tapping your child’s creative potential, the involvement of children in any form of fine arts that they like has a positive impact on their academic performance. Such children develop the confidence of participating in competitions like essay writing, science fairs, poetry, etc and fare better than those who are not into art.
  • Emotional outlet: Children who make fine arts a part of their lives exhibit calm dispositions and cope with stress better. They show fewer signs of irritability like tantrums and addiction to gadgets and media. These children are self-reliant and usually take refuge in their artwork when overwhelmed.
  • Brain development: Kids passionate about art are more receptive to learning as it is believed that both the sides of their brain are fully active and exhibit more neural connections than the brains of other kids. They are open to new ideas and have an inclination towards thinking out of the box in every sphere of their lives.
  • Overall development: Children engaged in fine arts not only exhibit better academic performance but also show better results in non-academic areas. They perform better socially due immense cultural exposure, have high self esteem, express themselves better, and develop a sense of aesthetic awareness.

Making art a regular part of the lives of children both at school and at home will have profound benefits on their personalities making them sensitive to world around, helping them solve problems better, learn the importance of teams and help them value order, integrity, and cooperation.

We at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas organize year-round fine art programs for kids between the age group 6-18 years. These programs include drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and a lot more. To register your kid in the various art programs, please call Ms Caroll Dunn at 254-699-5808.

Teaching Your Child Basic Computer Skills

Be it at home, in schools, or at the workplace, computers have become an intrinsic part of our lives these days. They not only have an important role in the lives of adults, but also form a major part of the lives of children today. Gone are the days when children were restricted to papers and pencils and some toys. Now they have access to lots of informative material, games, and other websites for their entertainment.

Some parents feel it is not important to accustom a child to the computer in his early years, but this could be a fixation that could make him lag behind in major areas of his studies in school. Children will need computers for research work regarding their homework, school projects, online exams, and later in their college years and careers.

The least you can do, as a parent is to introduce your child to some basic computer skills early on. The following is a list of some things you can familiarize your child with:

  • Provided your child is capable of holding a pencil on his own and figuring out what it is meant for, he is ready to master the basics of a computer. You can start with teaching him basic etiquettes like cleaning hands and keeping eatables aside before handling the computer.
  • Teach him how to turn it on and off laying special emphasis on patiently waiting for all the programs to load before starting any activity. Let him know switching it off directly can be harmful for the computer and he should use the shut down option instead.
  • Let your toddler experiment with sound and number games  in addition to fun activities like painting and scribbling with a cursor to master the art of using a mouse or touch pad.
  • Slightly older children who are of school going age can be introduced to the concept of search engines and how to use them for their homework. At this stage, it is important to impose some rules regarding using the internet and use parental control to prevent your child from having access to inappropriate websites.
  • Accustom your child to the keyboard and teach him skills like clicking and dragging a mouse. Handling a mouse can be a tricky job for a preschooler and this is where you have to patiently teach him how to coordinate all his movements until he learns how to handle the mouse without lifting his gaze from the computer screen.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas organize Skill Tech program to develop kids’ proficiency with basic computer skills, word processing, spreadsheet and other productivity software with fun, engaging lessons and projects.  To make your kid a part of this program, contact Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808 or visit Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541.

Making Studies Interesting For Kids

Grasping new things and learning new concepts at school can sometimes be boring and quite frustrating for kids. The young ones may also start shirking study time. If somehow we can make study process interesting and more like a plaything for kids, then they will definitely develop interest in studies. Here are a few tips on how you can make study time fascinating for kids:

  • Give practical examples: Giving relevant real life examples will make the kids understand any new subject. You can use various objects in and around to demonstrate many of the simple mathematical and scientific fundamentals. A kid would understand the logic better when taught in a practical way.
  • Play games: You can improve the vocabulary of your kids and also help them learn spelling by playing fun games like scrabble. Creating simple crossword puzzles and asking the kid to solve them would let him/her remember new words along with their meanings. Various tried-and-tested mnemonic tricks or the ones created by you would help the kid to remember certain lists, for example VIBGYOR to remember the seven colors of rainbow in sequence.
  • Songs and dances: You can help your child memorize particular facts by framing them out in some dance and songs. Singing and dancing in a certain flow or rhythm will help your kid grasp the topic with utmost ease.
  • Online search: Use internet to make historical figures more interesting for your kids. You can search for the particular historical figure that your kid is studying about in the school. Tell him/her the fun facts about that historical character. Narrating the importance of that character in history would also generate interest in kids. For example, you can tell your kid the story of Graham Bell who discovered telephone or Aryabhatt who introduced ‘0’ in mathematics.
  • Museums and science parks: You can take the children to various historical museums and scientific parks, where they will learn more easily about the things that are being taught at school. Going into details might confuse the kids. Therefore, tell the most prominent features that the kids would easily remember.
  • Kids club: There are certain parents who cannot give enough time to their kids. This problem is faced by most of the working class owing to their tight office schedule. This can make the kids suffer in studies. Therefore, there are various kids clubs to deal with this problem and make the child academically strong. These clubs for kids aim at making studies exciting and more interesting.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas organize ‘Power Hour’ for kids between the age group of 6-16. This program aims at helping kids in their homework and providing them tutoring classes. We also encourage them to become self-directed learners. For more details, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Healthy Eating Habits For Teenagers

Teenage years are a crucial period for growth and physiological changes, which in turn put a high demand on the body for energy and nutrients. Eating healthy during these years can have immense benefits in adulthood. There will be fewer chances of weight related problems and chances are, you will end up looking younger and being highly energetic.

Teenagers always seem to be in a hurry and in the process, compromise on their meals. Most of them skip breakfast while others munch onto some junk food to compensate for a missed meal. The immediate effect of this is a slow metabolic rate and varying blood sugar levels, which play havoc with the overall well being of the body.

The following are some guidelines that may be helpful in the development of healthy eating habits in teens:

  • Lots of energy and nutrients: Teenagers who eat a balanced diet comprising starchy carbohydrates, lots of fruits and vegetables, protein, and dairy products help their bodies develop to their fullest potential and feel fresh and full of energy. Fatty and sugar rich foods should be taken in negligible portions. Other than this, they should drink plenty of water.
  • Never skip a meal: Teens are obsessed with weight loss and skip meals thinking it will help them stay lean. On the contrary, skipping a meal only ends up making you feel sluggish and increases the urge to binge on “anything” when a hunger pang strikes. Eating in time, that too small portions of about six meals a day, keeps your weight in check. In addition to the three basic meals of the day, incorporating healthy snacks in between could be a great habit that will pay back in the years to come.
  • Avoid dieting: Dieting seems to be a shortcut to having the perfect body for girls. However, it is not good for your health. During these years of growth and development, your body needs all types of foods and depriving it will only show its ill effects on your skin, hair, and body. In fact, after dieting, your body tends to put on almost double the weight. The best policy is to eat everything in moderation and to choose what you eat.
  • Eating etiquettes: Basic eating etiquettes like eating slowly, sharing your food, and taking small servings first can help you eat wisely and judiciously as a teenager. Eating slowly lets you eat only how much you require. Small servings will discourage overeating while sharing with others cuts down on the quantity you consume.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run various programs to incorporate healthy living and active learning in your kids. The program emphasizes on good nutrition, physical activities and overall well being. For more details, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Dealing With Anger In Children

Anger in children can be very frustrating to deal with especially when it becomes habitual. Many parents overlook the signs of anger in children thinking it is just a phase that will come and go. They do not probe deeper into their emotions to find out what the underlying cause is. Even though anger is a very normal human emotion, it becomes a matter of concern when it blows out of proportion. This is when a parent has to step back and analyze what is going on in the child’s mind.

Here is a list of some strategies that can help you deal with your child’s anger effectively-

  • Provide outlets for the anger: If your child seems to be getting very angry of late for no apparent reason, you might want to involve him in some outdoor activities that can give a vent to his bottled up emotions. Some kids activities like running, playing, boxing, swimming, etc can help him gain perspective and look at things calmly.
  • Touch therapy: Just touching a young child and holding him close can have profound benefits on his disturbed emotional state.  As soon as, you sense some anger in your child, try approaching him and take interest in what he is doing. His anger could be a way of seeking attention if he is deficit of it. The attention of an adult could be all that he needs.
  • Punish cautiously: Spanking a child is simply not an option when it comes to disciplining him. A better option would be to physically restrain him from an activity that is triggering his anger or simply give him a time-out. Try explaining to the child what you think about the situation and even listen to his side of the story. Say “NO” firmly and set limits when required.
  • Appreciate often: Anger in a child usually stems from a lack of appreciation. Make an effort to observe your child’s actions and appreciate him for what he does well. This will boost his self-image and make him feel good about himself. Show affection wherever you can and encourage your child to express verbally what he does not like so that you can help him. Such gestures on your part will make the child feel connected to you. A connected child is more balanced and calmer than one who doesn’t have a sense of connection.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas conduct various programs to help your kids learn to manage their anger. For more details visit Boys and Girls Clubs of Texas, 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Nurturing Your Child's Creativity

When it comes to creativity, most of us associate it with art and craft or the ability to create something unique. However, there are no boundaries for creativity and it can be a part of our lives in the smallest ways possible. Creativity is the ability to put things together in unique ways or seeing normal things from a different perspective. Each human being is creative to some extent. It’s just that some get an opportunity to tap their creativity while others let it go unnoticed.

We can’t force a creative talent upon our children but we can at least train them to see things differently. This can be done by training them to concentrate on kids activities at hand and be optimistic about the outcome. The following are some points you can work upon to nurture your child’s creativity:-

  • Turn off the TV: The TV is a great time and energy sapper. As much as possible, keep your child away from it. When bored, let him figure what to do with his time. This will rescue him from becoming a couch potato. Let your child’s imagination go wild. You can ask him to tell you a story or do some role-playing.
  • Creative toys: Provide your child with toys that encourage him to build something. Blocks and Lego bricks are great for the purpose. Let him build, destroy, build again without your any intervention on your part. It’s a great opportunity for him to explore new boundaries with his creativity.
  • Set an example: Children emulate their parents and can get a lot of encouragement to indulge themselves in hobbies and creative pursuits if they see you doing so frequently. Make it a point to devote sometime out of your busy schedule for trying new things and let your children be your audience.
  • Let your child loose: Parents who are too uptight regarding issues like neatness and strict routines with their children hamper their development in terms of creativity. Let your child make messes and learn from them. Set no limits on them and encourage them to think out of the box instead of being little boring conformists. This much support from your end will give their imagination wings.
  • Observe: Observe what your child finds interesting and provide him with the necessary materials to feed that interest.  However, don’t pressurize him into doing something spectacular. Just appreciate his efforts without bothering about the results.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to foster creative skills in your kid. To get your child enrolled in any of these programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Teach Your Kid How To Make Friends

Every child has to step out of his comfort zone at one point or another and go out into the world to form new bonds. This might be overwhelming for kids who are shy and too clingy to their parents. Even though it’s a difficult task to get such a child socialize with other children, it’s not impossible. A little patience and understanding from parents can go a long way in encouraging a child to break free from any barriers and mix up well with age mates. As a parent, try not to make socializing a big deal for your child. Instead, make your child familiar and comfortable with the concept in a subtle manner.

The following are some practical strategies that might be useful for parents trying to get their child to socialize:-

  • First and foremost, be a role model for your child. If you display good social ethics, your child is sure to follow. Teach your child basic social rules like sharing and listening when interacting with your friends.
  • Organize some play dates by inviting your child’s friends over. Your purpose will be easy to accomplish if the kids invited are outgoing in nature. Involve kids in activities that require cooperation, such as baking and craft.
  • Be quick to praise your child when he displays a social skill that you would love to see more of. It could be something as simple as sharing or helping someone.
  • You can try role playing before the actual situation arises. Make your child familiar with who you are expecting and take turns pretending to be the guest and host. This dissolves a child’s anxiety greatly.
  • Encourage your child to play games that are taught to them at school. It will boost his confidence and he’ll be in a better position to interact with his friends and strangers over the game. Having a skill or two makes a child feel worthy and improves his self esteem.
  • Setting social rules at home also forces some kids out of their shells. Make it clear to your child that he must answer a question if asked by a guest or friend. It’s alright if the answer is a short one provided it’s polite. It’s also important to maintain eye contact when answering back.
  • Expose your child to different social settings. Take him along to the grocery store, coffee shop, malls, etc. He will learn a lot by mere observation.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas offer a series of programs for your kids up to the age of 18 years. These programs give them an opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and also have loads of fun. To enroll your kid in any of our programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Helping Your Child With Homework

Homework is an intrinsic part of education that’s not liked by many children. It’s actually meant to help students revise what they’ve learnt in class. This includes the key concepts and anything new that’s been taught in class. Repetition improves ones understanding and that’s the principle under which homework revolves. It’s just meant to help the students go through their work for the day and try to grasp the concepts by themselves. When kids get back home from school, it’s very difficult for them to discipline themselves and get down to completing homework. This is where parents’ role come in.

No one knows a child better than a parent. Only a parent knows the specific tendencies of the child and how to motivate him to do his homework. Each child has a different identity and what works for one child might not work for another. Nevertheless, here are a few tips that might be of help in motivating kids to take homework seriously.

  • Provide a conducive environment: Nothing can be more repelling than a messy and dark room for doing homework. It’s important to provide your child with a well lit and clean space. Every child has his own preference of the place where he would like to do his homework. Some like a place that’s a little busy like the kitchen whereas others prefer completely silent zones.
  • Timing: Help your child develop a consistent routine for his homework. Such a routine will depend on your child’s personality and preferences. If he prefers finishing the homework as soon as he’s back from school, you should help do so. Some kids want to eat something or play with friends before settling down to work. See what suits your child and help him stick to it.
  • Resist the temptation of doing your child’s homework: It’s very tempting for parents to become good Samaritans and help their little ones with the seemingly tough homework. However, such practices can be detrimental to your child’s confidence in the long run. He might end up being overly dependent on you and lose his confidence in being able to do his homework without your assistance. A little help is of no harm, but care should be taken not to cross the line.
  • Avoid distractions: When your child is into his homework, turn off the TV and keep all forms of distractions like iPods, phones and computers away. You also have to be disciplined enough to steer clear of these things while your child studies.

The Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas’s ‘Power Hour’ education program aims at providing homework help and tutoring kids between the age group 6-16 years and encouraging them to become self-directed learners.

If you are interested in enrolling your kids in this program, kindly visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Why Is Physical Fitness Important For Teens?

A teenager has to face a lot of challenges today health-wise. Thanks to a large number of fast food chains and to top it all, a sedentary lifestyle. Not very long time ago, teenagers were considered the most active lot. They used to walk to school, play outdoor games and eat simple food. They were much fitter as compared to the teenagers now. They had more stamina and energy and had an active life outdoors.  Such a lifestyle eventually helped them grow up as healthy adults.

The scenario now is totally different from what it was then. Nowadays, it’s considered completely normal for a teen to be glued to the laptop for hours together. They can’t resist the urge to keep munching something when in front of the TV. Hanging out with friends at a food joint is considered to be “cool”. What teens today don’t realize is how negative the repercussions of such a lifestyle can be. Teenage obesity, depression, suicides etc. are all offshoots of their way of living.

Fitness is not just about exercising regularly. It comprises a person’s overall strength, endurance, and flexibility. Good nutrition and being mental health also come within its ambit. Physical fitness in teens helps them fight illnesses better and even makes them feel happier due to the release of endorphins in the brain. Teens that are physically fit have less chances of gaining weight throughout their lives and this keeps their confidence levels brimming. The heart, lungs and muscles function efficiently and this in turn keeps the energy levels up.  What’s more, the immune system is strengthened and one doesn’t fall prey to colds, flu and viruses easily.

Focusing on being physically fit in the teenage years will pay off big time in the years to come. One doesn’t have to engage in strenuous exercise to remain fit. All that’s required is moderate amount of physical activity every day. There are a lot of activities to choose from ranging from aerobic exercises to swimming, ice skating, skiing, horse riding etc.  The trick is in having fun as you remain active. For those who are not into such activities, a 30 minute brisk walk or 20 minutes of jogging everyday should suffice. Whatever activity you choose, its efficacy will be judged by how hard your heart beats and how much you sweat.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to teach your kids skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults. To get your child enrolled in any of these programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Teaching Kids The Benefits Of Teamwork

Teamwork refers to the ability to work with others as a group for the completion of a task. It is a skill that is very important to be inculcated in kids. Children get a lot of attention; they think that the whole world revolves around them. As they grow, it becomes important to teach them the importance of working together as a team both at home and at school. Many people think teamwork is only required in sports. This is a wrong notion as teamwork is essential at almost every stage of life from schooling to when one gets employed.

Team work has innumerable benefits on the personality of a child. It greatly improves a child’s communication skills as it’s all about voicing your opinion and listening to the opinion of others. It also teaches a child to co-operate with other members of the group. A child learns to value the point of view of others and this is an important leadership skill too. The child works towards a common goal and solves problems keeping in mind the goal to be achieved. A child learns how to share and compromise in special circumstances. The skill helps the child to carry learn how to get along with others and have fun while completing a project. What’s more, it teaches a child the skill of working with difficult people.

Teaching your kids about the benefits of teamwork at an early age is the best foundation for a stable and socially fit person. To start with, all you have to do is introduce your child to the concept of working as a team. Tell your child some stories of people who achieved a lot while they worked in a  team and how they would not achieved much had they been all alone. After this, introduce them to some practical demonstrations so that this attitude gets fixed in their minds. You can use some fun ideas to inculcate the concept in their minds and even reward your child positively for any effort towards working  as a team. You can turn the household chores into interesting games for them. Get creative and make teamwork a part and parcel of your child’s daily life.

If you want your kids to learn the importance of teamwork, get them enrolled at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas. We at these clubs organize various Character Building and Leadership programs for kids up to 18 years of age. For more information, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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