Category Archives: Health

Best Books: The One and Only Ivan

In a world where we are being faced with bullying, loneliness, and school shootings it is hard to completely understand the fears, isolation, and loneliness that children and teens are dealing with. As adults we see the world as it is, but children are still learning how the world functions, and how to deal with the emotions that result from living in that world. Sometimes children need help to understand those emotions.

Katherine Applegate’s book, The one and Only Ivan introduces a lonely and isolated Gorilla that has lived in captivity for 27 years. Ivan meets a baby elephant named Ruby that has been taken from the wild. Throughout the novel the two interact on a human level, they share their fears, their hopes, their dreams. As readers we get to see the world from Ivan’s perspective. It details the essence of childhood. The limits of understanding, the boxed in protection that becomes a cage, the loss of innocence as the real world takes shape around them, but through it all is a friendship and humor that helps them to navigate this strange world. The world that Applegate has created allows children to place themselves in Ivan’s place and follow him on his journey of self-actualization and his quest in to the real world of adult-hood. Throughout this journey the readers are able to confront their own emotions and reconcile their own experiences with loneliness and isolation.

The book brings humor, joy, and sadness as it tells the story of Ivan and Ruby. Readers will enjoy the friendship and humor as they learn some deeper lessons. It makes for an excellent read, and if parents read it as well it can open up doors and opportunities for discussion about what kids are really going through today.

First-Aid Kit: DIY

Now that school is back in session fall is almost here. That means fall sports, fall activities, and fall illnesses. We want you to be prepared for all of the busy activities you and your kids will be involved with this season.

We all worry about the kids getting sick when they return to school. With so many children from so many different homes and backgrounds there tends to be an influx of germs. How do we combat this? HAND WASHING. Lots of hand washing.  While we cannot control how often our kids wash at school, we can give them the tools to do what needs to be done. Teach them how to wash properly, and remind them how important it is to wash. Washing leads to less germs. Which means they have more time to play, run, and learn without getting sick. Try teaching them to sing their Abc’s while they wash. And wash with soap (about a dime-size) and warm water. It doesn’t have to be hot, just warm. Makes sure they understand to scrub the front, backs, between the fingers, and around the finger nails (including underneath the nails).

One way I have found to help keep germs at bay is to keep a first-aid/hand washing kit in the car with me. When I pick the kids up from school they put their backpacks in the back of the car and they use some hand-sanitizer to cleanse their hands from school.

I have also found it useful to keep a first-aid kit with me in the car. It is simple to keep in the back, and I will never worry that I need something.

The best part about keeping a kit like this with you in the car is you always have it with you. SO if your kids get hurt at soccer practice? Playing at the park? All you need to do is break out the kit and bandage them up.

First Aid Kit

Check out this simple DIY kit. You can even add more customized items if you know what types of things your kids might need for other health or injury issues. Many stores even sell ready-pack ice packs that do not need to be frozen and can be activated on site. These make perfect additions to any first-aid kit.

Now enjoy your season with a little more peace of mind.

Boy Books: Wonder

Have you ever wondered how to get your kids to understand that being different is not bad? Middle school is a stage where we all discover we are different. We all feel like the world is staring at us. We all feel less than. We all feel awkward, weird, funny looking, and uncool. But did you ever realize that everyone feels that way?

This month we are gearing up to head back to school. Some of us are excited, some are scared, some are a little of both. But if you have a child starting middle school or junior high and you want them to see that they are unique, they are strong, and they are beautiful inside and out; then you will want them to read this book.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

boy books wonder

Wonder by R. J. Palacio follows a middle school boy named August as he starts his first year at a mainstream school. Not only is August starting a new school —  a middle school — and going through all the changes the age includes, August is also special. August has some facial abnormalities that until now have allowed him to stay away from mainstream schools. But as he has gotten older his family, doctors, and teachers believe it’s time for him to mainstream.

The book follows August on his journey, and in the beginning, it is all in first-person. Readers experience the book through August’s eyes. We feel his feelings, and we experience his disappointments.

Soon readers begin to see the story through August’s classmates perspective, then his sister’s, and finally through his sister’s boyfriend. As the story goes on readers have the unique opportunity to see just what everyone is thinking and feeling. This opportunity is eye-opening. It gives readers the chance to see that everyone feels some of the same emotions and fears.

The book is on the best-sellers list and will soon be a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. The story is so captivating and so mind-changing it is definitely worth reading; it just might change the way you and your kids think and feel about yourself, and others.