Tip of the Week: See something? Say something . . .

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012

Tip of the Week: See something? Say something . . .

. . . About the fact that there are homeless families and children in our nation’s capital. Recently, one of our volunteers was telling a colleague about her volunteer work with the Playtime Project, and he looked at her in amazement. “There are homeless children here?” She asked us for some facts to enlighten her co-worker. Tell people about the amazing families with incredible children you know who are struggling to put a roof over their heads right here in DC. In fact, family homelessness in the Washington, DC region hasincreased 23 percent in the five years since the recession began, while theoverall population of homelessness has increased only 1 percent. This year,there are 3,388 homeless children in the area. Families are considered the “hidden homeless,” so educate your friends. Join our Facebook page to get the latest stats and articles. Give people the opportunity to get involved by inviting them to our incredible Oct. 14 fall fundraiser and our first-ever Oct. 28 5K fun run. Spread the word and see what more we can do together to turn the tide for children in our...

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Tip of the Week: Help Children Prepare for Back to School

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012

Tip of the Week: Help Children Prepare for Back to School

Just 2 more weeks of summer vacation before school begins on August 27, and that means it’s time to help families get the clothes and supplies they need to be ready.  Did you know that children who are homeless are entitled to free school uniforms and transportation assistance under the McKinney-Vento Act?  We will be distributing flyers to parents this week to instruct them to go to their child’s school and ask for the Homeless Liaison to access this help. For a list of who those people are, visit: http://osse.dc.gov/publication/dcps-homeless-liaison-contact-list. Children without the proper uniforms are NOT barred from attending DCPS so that is not a reason to delay starting school.  Children who are homeless miss more school than their peers, so let’s all do what we can to help make sure our kids are ready to...

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Tip of the Week: Slowing it Down

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012

Tip of the Week: Slowing it Down

We get so much positive feedback from parents on how much they love Playtime, but what’s the biggest request Playtime parents have of us? Many parents report that their children are often hyper and spinning like tops when they are picked up, which makes it tough to get them ready for bed.  There are lots of strategies we can use to help children “wind down” at the end of Playtime. Adults using softer voices to set the tone and establishing a tradition of kids picking out books to read with volunteers after snack while they are waiting for their parents to pick them up work well. Or calmer coloring, yoga or board game activities! How about a volunteer grabbing a guitar and serenading the children with peaceful sing-alongs while they are eating their snack? Research indicates that calm music is therapeutic and relaxing so use this great tool that is free and available to all of you. It works...

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Tip of the Week: Be Genuine & Specific!

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012

Tip of the Week: Be Genuine & Specific!

How many times do we throw around the phrase, “Good job?” It’s nice to say, but we (Mighty Playtime Volunteers) can do even better!  This week, when a child is working on an art project, throwing a ball, or sharing well with another child, let’s let them know.  Remember, specific compliments that acknowledge a child’s effort help them to build confidence in their specific skills and reinforce their belief in their specific talents! Read more about why specific praise is...

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Tip of the Week: Get on their train before you try to get them on yours

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012

Tip of the Week: Get on their train before you try to get them on yours

When a child is doing something other than what he or she should be — like playing with a truck instead of cleaning up — rather than get into a struggle with him or her, take a minute or two and join with the child in whatever (s)he is doing. In other words, take a moment to talk about the truck with him/her before coaxing him/her away from it and onto the task at hand.  Entering a child’s world on the child’s terms is a great way to develop influence with that child — which is a more powerful and lasting way of motivating children than using threats or...

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