LEGO Lovers Take Note! Build the Change Call for Designs!

If you have entered our famous LEGO contest or are just a LEGO enthusiast who has made a project that conveys sustainable design there's a contest just for you! Connect4Climate recently partnered with LEGO® to launch the Build the Change Call for Designs. The Build the Change Call for Designs invites individuals and groups from all over the world to showcase their talents and create LEGO® brick sustainable cities.To participate, participants post a photo or video of their LEGO® brick creation to the Connect4Climate Facebook Page and include a brief description of their creation, the hashtag #BuildTheChange, the name of the LEGO® brick creator and, optionally, their city of residence and age. The deadline is September 28, 2013.

Selected photos and videos will be featured at the LEGO® Build the Change Workshop at the EcoCity World Summit in Nantes, France.

Show the WORLD that Ann Arbor has the biggest and best LEGO fans!

More Than Words: For Parents of Children with Autism

As in the past 13 years, More Than Words - A Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Autism will be offered through the Washtenaw Intermediate School District beginning on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

More Than Words is a family-focused program that was developed to meet the needs of children with social communication difficulties and/or autism spectrum disorder. This program teaches parents of young children (5 and under) practical ways to help their child interact and communicate during everyday activities. Children DO NOT need a diagnosis of ASD, or be involved in other programs or interventions, such as special education, to participate in this program.

The program runs from October 15, 2013 - February 18, 2014 and includes:
* A pre-program orientation on Tuesday, October 15th from 6:00-7:30 pm
* A series of eight parent education/training classes held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 29; Nov. 12, 26; Dec. 10; Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18)
* A pre-program consultation with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist
*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and communicate

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

The Animals are Out!

As you check out the farm party at the red barn on the tot table Downtown, don’t forget that the real McCoy can be found within a few miles in any direction. You can stroll through a corn maze, treat yourself to cold cider and warm donuts and even shop the farmer’s market with your favorite cows, sheep and chickens at the beautiful farms nearby. For us city folk there is sometimes nothing more soothing than a big red barn!

TalkAbility: For Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum

As in the past 3 years, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will be offering TalkAbility: The Hanen Program for Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum to families of verbal children (3-7 years old) living in Washtenaw County. Children DO NOT need to have a diagnosis to participate and benefit from this program.

Research shows that children who have conversations with parents about what others think and feel learn to appreciate different points of view. This program helps parents learn to use this kind of talk at home, and how to apply it to help their child "tune in" to other people. The program guides parents in helping their child to make friends, providing many ideas and strategies such as finding the right friend, knowing when to step in to help the friendship along, etc.

The program consists of:

* An Orientation Meeting held at the WISD on September 24th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Participants will receive an overview of the program, and program materials.

*An individual consultation for parent and child with the Hanen certified speech-language pathologist before the program begins.

*A series of eight classes (for parent only) held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 8, 22; Nov. 5, 19; Dec. 3, 17; Jan. 14, 28)

*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and have conversations

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

Are you wondering how to create a safe sleep environment for your child? Come and learn how to keep your baby safer!

Washtenaw Area Council for Children presents Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm
Academic OB/GYN Clinic, Reichert Health Center
5333 McAuley Drive
Suite 2110 - Waiting Room
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

This class is open to parents as well as family members having direct care with your infant. Class size is limited! Call to reserve a spot: 734-434-4215

Parent’s Corner: It’s Potty Time!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to safety to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

As preschoolers get into the new routine of going to school, potty training becomes more of a focus in the household. It’s potty time! If it’s a bit tricky there are some books on the parent shelf that offer guidance. We also have a slew of fun picture books about going potty to help get the little ones motivated.

For parent shelf finds, try Diaper-free before 3 : the healthier way to toilet train and help your child out of diapers sooner, Toilet training: a practical guide to daytime and nighttime training, and A guide to potty training.

And for lap time picture books see this great list of titles!

FREE Tutoring @ the Downtown Library Youth Department Starts Monday, September 16!

School has started so it's also time to get some FREE tutoring help! Circle K students will be available three days a week: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 - 8:00 PM. And Sundays (FREE Parking Downtown) from 3-5 PM. Students in grades K-12 can get homework help at AADL (all subjects), provided by volunteers for the University of Michigan chapter of Circle K. No appointment necessary - just drop by!

The Boy Who Could Fly

In 1986, the film The Boy Who Could Fly came out to decent reviews, although it didn’t make much of a splash. But over the years, it has become one of those movies that people remember and want to see again.

Milly and her family move next door to Eric after the recent, tragic suicide of her father. She quickly notices something unusual next door, from something flying by her window to Eric spending lots of time on the roof. Milly becomes intrigued and eventually befriends Eric, who is autistic and lives with his alcoholic uncle. Eric’s parents died in a plane crash, and Eric as been obsessed with flying since the tragedy.

The actors who play Milly and Eric give nuanced and effecting performances. Fred Savage is delightful as a kid whose strategy for coping with his father's death is both grim and comically engaging. The adults in The Boy Who Could Fly add breadth and depth to the story: Bonnie Bedelia as the frazzled mother; Colleen Dewhurst as the understanding Mrs. Sherman; and Fred Gwynne as Uncle Hugo, a loving guardian who is battling his own demons.

Whether Eric can really fly is open to discussion, but this heartwarming and delightful film tells a great story.

Signing Language For Infants & Toddlers

Saturday, September 7 | 11:00-11:45 AM | Malletts Creek | Ages 6 mos. – 2 yrs.

Joins us this Saturday for a morning of sign language for infants and toddlers! Certified instructor Kathy Brady of Signing Smart will be presenting and sharing her knowledge. She’ll talk about how to add signs into songs and play, and how to make signing easy and fun for both children and their caregivers. This event is designed for hearing infants and toddlers, ages 6 months to 2 years, with an adult. No older siblings, please.

For additional resources on sign language, check out this list of materials to get you started.

Lunch box inspiration

Looking for inspiration as you face another school year of packing lunches? Or maybe this is your first year sending a young one off to school during the day. Maybe, even, this isn't the first year in school, but you've decided that this is the year you don't go for the hot lunch, and decide to pack lunch instead. Maybe you don't have kids, and you're looking for ideas to make your own lunches more fun. In any case, we have some cookbooks that might help.

Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes For School Lunches Kids Will Love is a packed-lunch cookbook with ideas that you can implement without driving across town looking for hard-to-find ingredients. It might even make you see some of the things you already cook in a new way, as candidates for lunch.

The vegans don’t need to be left out! Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! is full of ideas that will make those packed lunches interesting. You don’t have to be a vegan to see the fun in this book. Long before her book was published, McCann maintained a blog where she photographed and posted the vegan lunches she made for her son.

If you’re looking for something more striking, you might try Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes. Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal, and is common in Japanese cuisine. This book can help you see how different edible building blocks can combined to make visually impressive lunches for your kids (or yourself).

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