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Hollywood Learning Centers Show Preschoolers to be More Giving this Holiday

3 Ways Hollywood Learning Centers Show Preschoolers to be More Giving this HolidayWith the holidays around the corner, toy commercials on Television reminds us it’s that time of the year again. Hollywood Learning Centers believes it’s the season to teach preschoolers about the real meaning of the holidays, family, and gratitude. As our preschoolers write their long gift lists this year, how about we teach them about the importance of giving rather than receiving.

  1. Remind Your Preschoolers How Privileged They Are. . .

It’s understandable that as parents, we want to protect our kids from the cruel realities of this world. Poverty, hunger, orphans, and natural disasters are difficult to explain to a child. Find scenarios to teach your little ones how fortunate they are compared to those experiencing hunger and sickness. As difficult as it might be to point these things out, at times it’s necessary. You can also include prayers before meals and at bed time to thank God for our blessings. Gratitude can make a huge difference in their lives, because where there is gratitude, there is no space for selfishness.

  1. A Preschooler’s Trash Is Another Preschooler’s Treasure

Most of us, children or adults, outgrow things to make room for what the new year brings. However, getting rid of our belongings sound easier said than done. My rule is, if they haven’t use it or wore it for a year, then most likely they won’t again. Make sure they get involved in the picking process. Explain to them that these objects will bring joy to less fortunate kids. There are several charities that make it easy to spread holiday cheer. Goodwill, Toys for Tots, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies are a few organizations that take new toys as well as gently used donations.

  1. It’s Okay to Tell Your Preschooler “No”

Even though you want to get them the entire gift list, try not to get in the habit of buying everything they ask. I have actually sat down to watch TV with my little stepson and saw toy commercial after toy commercial. Honestly, I got just as excited as he did. I even began to make notes of the toys we liked.  These marketers are good! As they grow, it’s important to teach our children to develop critical minds when exposed to the media, just like I did with the toy commercials. Remember, if they have it all then they won’t know what it feels like wanting and not having something.  

It’s a lot easier to give in to this material world we live in than to fight the urge to spoil them with every cent to our name. I dare you to try it. It might make all the difference when raising a generous child.

For more blogs, subscribe to: Hollywood Learning Centers’: Parenting Survival Guide.

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Clean Up! Chores for Preschoolers – Hollywood Learning Center

Chores - Hollywood Learning CentersMy mother, Ms. Fatima, Director of Hollywood Learning Center is the definition of a superwoman. I know, completely bias coming from me, but it’s true. I remember growing up with a successful woman, a spotless house and healthy dinners. However, that didn’t mean we weren’t given chores. I wish!  My family believes in chores and allowances was not the reward, but that’s another story.

Why are chores so important? Well, according to parenting expert: Jim Fay, co-founder of Love and Logic, we all need to feel needed, important and to know that we’re making a contribution, even kids. Not to mention, we can’t wait for children to be adults to teach them responsibilities. By then, it might be too late.

So, Hollywood Learning Center put together a cheat-sheet on some chores’ tips for preschoolers:

Choose Age-Appropriate Chores for Preschoolers

How appropriate a chore is will vary from culture to culture and family to family. In my case, I remember asking my mom for a little broom to “sweep” at the age 5, out of my own boredom. Yet, I don’t see little ones doing that today. Here are some chores Hollywood Learning Centers consider age-appropriate for preschoolers:

  • Putting toys away
  • Making or at least attempting to do their bed
  • Clearing the table after meals
  • Watering the plants
  • Feeding pets, if any.

Lead by Example

Don’t expect children to put their toys away like they do here in their preschool, if mommy and daddy are leaving their clothes out. Be the example they need. You can begin by teaching your children the right way to accomplish the chore, let them see you take on the task and before you know it, they’ll be little experts. The idea is to make these chores their job at home. For example, If mommy cooks, daddy washes the dishes or vice versa, then children can be in charge of clearing the table. At first, reminders will be needed. However, the idea is to have them take on the task on their own. In my house, I leave little sticky notes around with friendly reminders and smiley faces. It works, I promise 🙂

Praise goes further than allowance

Although chores are responsibility, I still believe parents should compliment their children for their work. Praise can go a long way. Tell them things like:

“You did a great job with that bed today!”

“Those flowers are looking beautiful, you’re doing a fantastic job with them!”

“Thank you for putting your toys away so nicely”

As far as rewarding them with allowances, theories vary. We believe it’s important to avoid connecting allowances to chores, at least for preschoolers.

Younger children, like the ones in our Hollywood Learning Center, don’t tend to be motivated by money. If we award them with allowances then you’re giving them the option to choose not to do them. However, if your little ones are motivated by money, then is this a quality we really want them to have? We understand allowances can teach children about hard-work and money management, but preschoolers might not be ready for it just yet.

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up! For more parenting survival tips, keep checking out our blog.

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3 Holiday Tips for Children of Separated Parents

holiday-for-seperated-parentsWith the holidays around the corner, it’s important for separated parents to discuss what’s the plan this year. The reality is, holidays for these families are never easy, but as long as we make the best of it for the well-being of the little ones.

Hollywood Learning Centers put together 3 tips to guarantee a peaceful and joyful time:

1) It’s Always About the Children!

Children will be children. They want their mommy and daddy together. It’s important for children to see that if things didn’t work out, the benefits of having separated parents is getting the two of best worlds, including holiday celebrations. Communicate what the plans are to be on the same page as far as beliefs, celebrations, traditions, charity projects, gifting, etc. Keep in mind, it’s always about the children, which might suck for parents. As long as our little ones are happy and knowledgeable of the real meaning of the holidays.

2) Scheduling and Making the Transition Smooth

Some parents schedule time for one parent to spend the holiday during the day, while the other parent during the night. Others, prefer to alternate holidays every other year.  As long as the children get to be with both parents, the exact day never matters. If we think about it, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s or other holidays always falls under different days. A child’s imagination can run wild! For parents who don’t have court guidelines, it’s important to plan drop off and pick up time, who’s driving, where and every detail to the “T.” And, please mommies and daddies, let’s make the transition smooth, cordial, and respectful. Parents are the two people our children love the most, let’s treat each other as such.

3) Let’s Make the Best of it!

It’s supposed to be the happiest time of year! Disagreements during these times is not an option. Agree the disagree, make sacrifices and remember that keeping the party at peace is better than being right all the time. There are many separated families that have been able to adjust to the reality of the situation. They get together and even gift each other presents. We don’t see them as much, they are not in commercials yet, but I promise they are out there. After, all why can’t we all get along.

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Hollywood Learning Breakfast Ideas On the Go!

Hollywood Learning Breakfast Ideas On the Go!

With Hollywood Learning Centers finally back in session some of us may be having trouble getting into the right routine to make it out the house on time (I know I am). There are essential things that need to be done before starting your day and eating a balanced breakfast is the most important one. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing, so we put together some fun and quick breakfast recipes to ensure breakfast is served.

 berry-quinoa-saladBerry Almond Quinoa Salad: A healthy but fun morning wakeup food, packing a bunch of super ingredients. This yummy breakfast will ensure everyone gets their nutrition and energy to tackle the day.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced (2.5-3 cups)
  • 16 oz. fresh blueberries (1.5-2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or lemon might work!)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Directions:

  1. green-smoothie Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and place in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients (maple syrup, balsamic, lime juice, salt) in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary. 
  4. Fluff cooked quinoa with fork and add to bowl with fruit. Combine. Pour on dressing and mix. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until serving time. Serves 2-3 as a main or 4-6 as a side. 

Monster Green Smoothie: I think a smoothie can never go wrong. This recipe packs everything that ensures you and your children will have a productive day at school and will keep their tummy full for hours.

  • 2 cups liquid of choice (we use fresh-squeezed orange juice, but have used coconut water and almond milk and both are great)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • boosts of choice (we use hemp hearts and chia seeds)

nutella-sushi-rollNutella and Banana Sushi: It might not sound as yummy, but do not worry. This fun and inventive breakfast “sushi roll” imitates the design of a sushi roll by rolling Nutella bananas in a tortilla. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. For those little ones who don’t like bananas, you can replace the banana for other fruits. This recipe is one I am going to try out for myself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tortillas
  • 4 tbsp Nutella
  • 2 bananas

Directions:

Simply spread Nutella on the tortilla, and place your banana in the center of the tortilla, then roll in tortilla and banana in a compact roll, and then slice into pieces. There are plenty of ways to ensure that your most important meal of the day is an inventive and quick one, start your little ones’ day of with goodness and creativity.

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Parents! Back to School, Back to Reality!

Invitation for GraduationSchool is back and although it can be a bittersweet feeling for parents and children, it is something that has to be conquered nonetheless. Whether your child is going to their first day of preschool or their first day of kindergarten, they are going and as a parent you need to be prepared. So we have created a little guide on what parents can do to help transition from summer to school.

  1. Get involved! Starting school is like starting a brand new year. Why not get involved? See what opportunities your children’s school offer for you to volunteer or become a PTA mom. Evaluate your options rather than signing up right away. Try talking to other parents and figure out the best way to help out. Remember, the amount of time you volunteer isn’t a reflection of how much you love your kids. Do as much as your time allows you. Similarly, find ways to get your children involved. It’s the early childhood stage, that determines their passions in life. Hollywood Learning Centers offers extracurricular activities such as soccer, dance, tutoring and others. Call the office at (954)922-8558 for more information.
  1. Develop a Game Plan: This is a new (but long) journey in your child’s life, they will meet new friends and embrace new challenges, often time parents note transformational growth in their children during the school year. Discuss their goals for their academic year, what they want to accomplish in school and outside of school. If they want to learn a new language, how to play an instrument or simply make new friends. Help them make  a game plan. It is said that those who write their goals have a better chance of making them happen. Help them write their goals in a place that is visible or work on a vision board.
  1. Embrace “failure: It is important to set goals for your child, but do not be disappointed when some of these goals are not obtained. In this new journey there will be good days and bad days, and we have to learn to deal with both. Praise their efforts and teach them about perseverance. Starting the first day of preschool, second grade, or eight grade is equally scary. New materials, homework, teachers, routines, etc.

Back to school can be nerve racking and stressful. But keep in mind our small tips, and embrace every moment of the new school year. Fortunately kids are pretty resilient, so they get back into the swing of things better than parents do.

For more parenting survival tips, keep checking out our blog.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Parent?

Parenting isn't PerfectFor the parents out there, have you ever stop and said: “Wow, I’m a heck of a parent,” or do you often find yourself questioning your parenting skills?

It seems as if parenting and guilt were cut from the same fabric . . “I should spend more time with my son, I shouldn’t be so rough with my little girl, I wish I can give them more, I didn’t had to yell at them, I totally forgot about soccer practice… and the list goes on…”

The reality is, nothing in this world is perfect and no matter how much you search for it, there is no single guidebook on how to raise kids. Parenting techniques and approaches vary from culture to culture and parent to parent. Each parent has a different journey. I put together a few things I learned from my parent’s parenting techniques:

Positive Parenting

“Yes, you can!,” although it sounds like a political slogan, these were the words of my mother. As cliche as that might sound, parents’ words can make all the difference. Ms. Fatima highlighted my strengths, complemented my talents, and encouraged my projects. As children grow into early childhood, their world will begin to open up. They will begin to explore and ask lots of questions. Their interactions with family and those around them will help to shape their personality. For that reason, is important to be positive. My father, for example, has always told me life is all about perspective. I remember being five the first time he spoke about the glass being half full or half empty. We all know the answer, of course. The optimist parent would say the glass is half full.

Discipline Consistency

As much as I love Full House and the rest of squeaky clean family shows like Seven Heaven and The Brady Bunch, real families don’t work this way. Not everything is fixed with a hug and not all children listen after being scolded. Every so often you’re bound to break your own rules, especially when they are little and adorable, but discipline consistency is key. Both of my parents have always agreed on what was allowable and forbidden. Simple things as bedtimes, diets, videogame regimen, homework routines, language choices, etc. For example, until this day I can’t seem to say the phrase, “I hate.” It was a bad word in my house. Make sure to be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Even for separated parents, agreeing on manners, behavior, and discipline styles will avoid confusion for the children. Explain and display the behavior that you expect from them.

Now going back to the question: Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Parent?

There is no such an alien among us. Who ever says they are a perfect parent is delusional or in denial. Ms. Fatima always says: Parenthood is what you make it, so come as you are, grab your babies and make the journey a special one. The years fly and before you know it, they’ll be taking care of you.

For more information about Hollywood Learning Centers, please call (954) 922-8558 and for more articles like this one, subscribe to our blog!

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The Me! Me! Me! Epidemic Among Children

Hollywood Learning

Drivers cutting in front of you in traffic, people closing the door behind them on your face, millennials stepping on you while chasing Pokemons, teenagers taking selfies on your face, preschoolers pushing classmates to be first in line, toddlers making fits at the grocery store for treats. I mean, I can go on and on, but I’m sure I made my point.

Does it sound familiar? Individualistic, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie snapchatters, call it what you want, I call it : Me! Me! Me! I even have a theme song for every time I witness this behavior, whether they are young or old, familiar or strangers.

I actually came to terms with this epidemic a few years ago while attending a live speech about “Happiness,” by the Dalai Lamas. He spoke about the difference between community-oriented societies and individualistic cultures. There, I learned that individualism is the belief that one’s personal needs are more important than the needs of a society as a whole. You might think, that sounds like the millennial generations, but research suggest individualistic behaviors began at the turn of the 20th century with the Baby Boomers born after WWII.

It is no secret, we live in an self-centered society. The minute I left the Dalai Lamas’ speech, my friends and I took the train back to our hotel. While on the train, a gentleman sat right next to one my friends, he took his coat off and slapped my friend right on the face when he opened his newspaper. We all laughed and ever since that day, I began detecting this sort of narcissistic behavior.

How do we stop it? How do we raise our children not to grow up to be individualistic, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie snapchatters narcissist? Well, I’m no expert on the Me-Me-Me syndrome, but one thing is for sure, acknowledging this epidemic is a good start. The man sitting on the train, most likely didn’t noticed my friend, neither did the guy cutting in front of me in traffic, or the woman who closed the door on my face at the bank, but that doesn’t make it “okay.”

We have to teach our children to:

1) Be Aware of Our Surroundings

This includes the people, animals and plants. To be aware of others teaches us to be compassionate, empathetic, welcoming and accepting. All these practices can help them deviate from self-centered and me-me-me tendencies.

2) Serve as an Example

As parents, we can prevent or decrease this behavior in our children by serving as an example. Let’s do the exact opposite of the me-me-me behavior and let’s teach our children how to be giving, kind, and patient. Next time you are driving, let others by  patiently, wait for the person behind you before closing the door, give something away to charity every time you receive a gift. The ideas are countless and the impact measureless.

3) Ignore the Me-Me-Me Siren

Another thing parents can do, or avoid doing, is not always jumping every time the me-me-me siren goes off. Remember, children will go as far as you allow them and as much as we want to spoil them, we have to keep a balance routine for their sake, ours and society’s.

4) Me-Me-Me, Sing it!

You can make a song, a poem, a rhyme or a keyword to use it around your children every time they are displaying this kind of egocentric behavior. They will know what they are doing and either stop or laugh, but acknowledgement is the first step.

If you are curious to see if you or someone around you could have this Me-Me-Me syndrome, click here for a quick test (narcissistic personality inventory (NPI).

If you need to hear the me-me-me song, ask Ms. Fatima to sing it to you. I have sang it to her on a few occasions when necessary. For more blogs like this one, subscribe to Hollywood Learning’s blog!

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How Rude! Secrets to Teach Our Children Manners

pexels-photo-kidTeachings manners can be a difficult task for many parents, not only because of the components associated with discipline, but also because of parents’ hectic schedules. However, manners can go a long way, especially past a simple “thank you.”

Focusing on etiquette and knowing your children have manners can help them establish positive relationships as children and adults, and contribute to their overall success. For that reason we created a guide to teach our child manners (according by age) with the help of Disney’s Babble.

 

Infants(0-1 Years): Please and Thank You’s:

When speaking to our little ones it’s important to use phrases like “please” and “thank you.”  When doing this we have to watch out for our tone of voice. If we modulate our tone when using social etiquette words, such as “please” and “thank you,” they will realize this is the norm and your example will guide them as they learn to speak. The idea is to incorporate these words in their every-day vocabulary from an early age. Try it, here at Hollywood Learning Center, we make sure to remind our little ones of their magic words all the time.

Smooth Touch:

Touch is something we all respond to, so it’s best to begin at an early age. Gently direct your baby on how to treat parents, siblings and pets. Teach them that hitting friends or family members is not okay and instead show them mannerism of love, such as handshakes, hugs, and pet rubs. By doing this you’ll be able to teach them the proper ways to touch and introduce the concept of cause and effect.

 

Toddler (2-3 years): It’s All About the Attitude!

As toddlers, your little ones will begin developing their personality. It is at this age, that they begin to repeat everything they hear or see. For that reason, it’s important for us parents and teachers to serve as example.

Toddlers are fun, but at times they can be very difficult to handle. They don’t call it the terrible two’s for no reason.

Sharing is Caring!:

At this age “mine” is something they repeat constantly. So showing them the power of sharing can be effective in reducing the use of the word “mine.” Lead by example share with them and those around you.

Table Manners:  

Begin showing your little ones simple table manners. Don’t speak with your mouth full, use utensils, no elbows on the table, ask for objects too far of reach. Reminders come handy at all times and once again lead by example.

Patience:

Introduce to them the concept of patience. We live in a fast-paced society where everyone wants everything done fast. Teaching them about patience from young can begin by simply reminding them not to interrupt conversations or allowing siblings to play first while patiently waiting for their turns, without getting antsy.

 

Pre-K and Elementary School (4 – 9 years): Developing Who they are

As children prepare to attend pre-K and elementary school, it’s important to work with them on their interactions with others around them ranging from teachers to other students. Begin by observing their interactions with other children besides family members. Take them to social gatherings and see if they are using the manners taught at home or school. Here are just a few to keep in mind:

Greetings: Show them the basics of a proper greeting with these three easy steps: eye contact, a firm shake or hug, and an introduction of their names. A proper introduction will provide your children with a boost of confidence. Remind them that first impressions are priceless.

Thank-you Notes: Not everyone write thank-you notes, but showing gratitude is beautiful and not often taught. At a young age, children are often receiving gifts for their birthdays or holidays. Teach them the importance of showing gratitude by either signing or drawing a picture on thank you cards. By 6 or 7, they will have the writing skills necessary to write entire thank you notes themselves. Teaching this small gesture can make a huge difference in their lives.

Manners and etiquette might vary from culture to culture or even family to family. At Hollywood Learning Center, we make sure to encourage manners, but we can only do so much at school. Practicing these at home can go a long way. Keep checking our blog for more helpful parent tips.

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Beach Safety: How to Keep Your Children Safe this Summer!

 

Children-love-the-beachIt’s summer time! For a lot of parents, that means taking your kids to the pool or beach and letting them have fun in the sun! But be careful!

When you let your children swim in a body of water, safety is always a top priority. Here are some safety tips for when your little ones go swimming.

  1. Pick a Beach With Lifeguards

There are plenty of beaches that you can choose from, but not all of them have lifeguards. More children under the age of five drown in Florida every year than in any other state. That’s scary stuff! Do some research and find a beach that always has a lifeguard on duty. You will feel more reassured about your child’s safety when you know a lifeguard is nearby.

  1. Don’t be Casual Around the Water

The last thing we want is a small child running off and jumping headfirst into the water, so make it clear that you are the one who decides when your child can go swimming. Create a routine before going swimming (putting on a swimsuit, applying sunscreen, holding your hand, etc.) so your child will understand they can’t just go in the water whenever they want to.

  1. Use the Best Sunscreen  

You already know that sunburns are no fun, but which brand of sunscreen is best for your child? When looking for a brand, pick out the ones that have an SPF of 30 and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Here’s a list for the best sunscreen for your kids. Make sure to cover all of your child’s exposed skin with with sunscreen before letting them play out in the sun. For extra protection, have a pair of sunglasses or a hat nearby.

  1. Never Let Your Child Swim Alone

Most children are just learning how to swim, and even if they’re already great swimmers, you should never allow them to go in the water alone. Anything could happen, like your child getting cramps or hitting their head, and you’ll need to be near them to help. Make sure they only swim in the shallow end of the pool or beach. For swimming lessons, contact Hollywood Learning Center, we have swimming classes in our summer camp program.

  1. Don’t Touch the Animals

When you’re at the beach, you’ll likely come across all sorts of marine wildlife in the water or on the sand. While this can be exciting, make it clear to your children that they’re not allowed to touch certain animals. Some marine animals, like jellyfish, sting rays, and lionfish, can be very dangerous. Others, like crabs can give your child a painful pinch if provoked.

  1. Recognize Rip Currents

Have you ever noticed water in one part of the beach that looks muddy and choppy? That’s probably a rip current, which is strong enough to pull grown adults into the ocean. Recognize the signs of rip currents and keep your children away if you see one.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water

When you’re busy having fun and making sure your kids are safe, it’s easy to forget about keeping yourself and your children hydrated. As it turns out, 75% of Americans don’t drink enough water. If you’re out in the blazing sun all day, make sure you have enough water to drink regularly.

Follow these tips and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is getting sand in your toes!

Interested in summer camp? Contact Hollywood Learning Centers at (954) 922-8558

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Life After Preschool: How to Survive the Transition!

concerns-when-starting-kindergartenCongratulations to all the preschoolers class of 2016! Preschoolers, great job, you are almost there! Preschoolers’ moms, you have 13 years more to go, but ready or not, life goes on.

The scary part is change. Who likes changes? Not all of us, but change is inevitable and with it, comes surprises along the way. Kindergarten is no exception. Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that you and your child will get through the transition smoothly.

1. Have a Fun Summer!

If your child is feeling nervous about starting kindergarten, make their summer break fun. A memorable summer will makes your child happier. Plan a family vacation or find a summer program that you know your kid will love. At Hollywood Learning Centers might have something that’s perfect for your child! This is also beneficial for you, since you both will feel less anxious about kindergarten.

2. Talk With the Teachers

The biggest fear most children and parents have when starting kindergarten is meeting their teachers for the first time and making sure their children are ready. To show your child that there is nothing to be afraid of, let them meet their teacher before the school year starts and  don’t be afraid to ask them, what subjects they should be preparing their children for. Hollywood Learning Center’s Summer Camp offers our VPK graduates tutoring in Math, Reading, and Writing, so they can have a head start.

3. Be Involved

Some children have trouble adjusting to a new environment. If you see that your child is having problems or feels sad in the first few days of kindergarten, get involved with their daily activities. Ask them about their day and try to help them if they’re having bad days. Participate in school activities to show your support. Let them know that you love them and that everything will be fine.

4. Back-to-School Shopping Spree!

All kids need school materials for their class, so it’s time to shop! Obtain the teacher’s supply list to see what is needed. You can get most supplies in grocery stores, so you can save time and money! Buy new clothing at stores that have an end-of-summer sale. If your child’s school requires uniforms, find out if the school has an official uniform store. Lastly, try to make the shopping fun for your child so they can feel excited for school.

Follow these tips and the transition from preschool to kindergarten should be a fun experience! Do you have questions about Hollywood Learning Center’s Summer Camp or Aftercare program? Contact Hollywood Learning Centers at (954) 922-8558

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