Back to School!

Summer vacation was fun, but it’s time to get the kids back to school! Here are some tips for a fun first day back to school and tips for a successful school year.

1st Day of School Traditions

  • Hold a first day photo shoot. Keep the mood fun by suggesting silly faces or letting the family pet join in. Keeping the camera snapping after school and capture your child stepping off the school bus in the afternoon.
  • Bury a time capsule. Fill a box or jar with items that represent your child’s current hobbies and interests. Have your child make a list of their favorite movies, books, and bands and describe first-day fears, friends he or she can’t wait to see!
  • See how they measures up. Using a growth chart (or the inside of a closet door), mark your child’s current height. Keep track year-by-year to show growth spurts.
  • Plan a bus stop breakfast! Invite all the neighborhood kids to get an early start the day before school begins. Fill a wagon with juice boxes, fruits and donuts. Bring it to the neighborhood bus stop at the usual pickup time as a “dress rehearsal” for the first day of school.
  • Tuck a love note into your child’s lunchbox to show you’re thinking of them. The first day can be nerve racking for everyone, so you may want to go for comfort food when dinner time comes and enjoy a cool dessert as summer vacation comes to an end.

Back to School Study Tips

  • A well-stocked desk in a quiet place at home is key, but sometimes you need variety. A trip to the library, park, or even just moving to the kitchen table will give kids a change of scenery which can prompt their brain to retain information better.
  • Remind your kids to look over their notes each night to make sure they have got all the information they need, then have them highlight the information that they know is the most important.
  • Don’t let a bad grade keep your kid down. A rough start doesn’t have to ruin the entire school year. Remind your kids to take proactive steps by checking their grades regularly and asking for a tutor if they need one.
  • Encourage your kids to make a friend in every class. Having a few friends in each class if always helpful if they have a homework question or had to miss class, then when it comes time to study for exams, they will already have a study group.
  • Keeping a calendar helps everyone plan ahead, but you’ve got more going on than just school so make sure you’re marking your extracurricular, work, and social commitments!

…and remember, before you know it, summer vacation will be starting again!

Rattlesnake Safety

snakeDid you know that from April through October, rattlesnakes can be found anywhere from hiking trails to city streets? There are 13 different types of rattlesnakes slithering throughout Arizona, so it’s important for everyone to know what to do when crossing paths with a snake. While snakes aren’t looking to cause trouble, people still must use extreme caution when they come across a rattlesnake. A snakebite has enough venom to cause serious injury or even death. Most snakebite victims have to spend at least two to three days in a hospital and spend weeks rehabilitating the area around the bite in order to regain full range of motion and muscle functionality.

Valley fire departments offer these tips for making your property less hospitable to snakes:

-Eliminate rodents (a snake’s preferred food) from around your home.
-Remove wood piles and junk from your yard to eliminate potential homes for snakes and their prey.
-Walls deter snakes from entering your yard. Solid walls 4 feet high with a four-inch lip angling outward will discourage most snakes. Sink the bottom of the wall well into the ground.
-Install gates snugly against the ground.
-Keep walkways clear of brush.
-Light pathways around your home.

Tips to keep safe when rattlesnake activity is at its peak:

-Stay on the trails. Rattlesnakes are more likely to be found in places with better opportunity to hunt, hide, and stay out of trouble.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Watch your step. Texting while walking has resulted in at least one bite that we know of, and head phones will keep the natural warning system from working.
-If you have a dog, keep it on a leash. Have the dog vaccinated for rattlesnake bites, and have it trained if it’s available in your area.
-If you encounter a snake, take a step (or two or three!) back. Snakes can only strike at a distance of one-third of their full body length, thus a three-foot snake has an effective strike range of 12 inches. The average human stride is 36 inches, so a step back will quickly put you out of harms way. If those seem to be obvious, it’s because they absolutely are. Rattlesnakes are simply not a threat to those who don’t go looking for it. Staying safe is just a matter of knowing better, and if you didn’t before, now you do.

For more information or to speak to a snakebite expert, call the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center’s free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Celebrate the 4th of July!

4th of JulyThe 4th of July celebration start early this year. Wear your red, white & blue and head out to one of these Valley favorites to celebrate the 4th of July on July 3rd and July 4th!

JULY 3rd:

Anthem’s Independance Day Celebration
Celebrate at Anthem’s Independence Day Celebration with a traditional fireworks display, fun rides, activities and festival food. Families can bring blankets and lawn chairs and sit back to enjoy the spectacular event. ACC Community Park, 41730 N Glavin Peak Parkway, Anthem

Celebrate America at Lake Pleasant
Head to Lake Pleasant for their annual Independence Day celebration. This year’s itinerary includes kids activities with unlimited inflatable water slides, bounce houses, live music and tasty food trucks! Lake Pleasant Marina, 40202 87th Ave, Peoria

JULY 4th:

Fabulous Phoenix 4th
Fabulous Phoenix 4th will feature one of the largest fireworks displays in the Southwest! The non-alcoholic, family-oriented event annually attracts 100,000-plus participants every year. Included in this year’s event will be two stages featuring local entertainers, a variety of vendors offering festival-style food and beverage, arts and crafts, interactive exhibits and a classic car display. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix

Tempe Town Lake Festival
Kiwanis Club of Tempe 66th Annual Fireworks Spectacular will present fireworks shot from Mill Avenue Bridge! The spectacular fireworks show will begin at 9:20pm and will be choreographed to patriotic, pop and country music! Gates open at 5pm.Tempe Beach Park, 620 N Mill Ave, Tempe

Are you looking for a new home to fly your American flag? Call me at 602-329-7762!