7 Natural Remedies for Sun Burns

July is National UV Protection Month. The sun is warm and wonderful but can be very dangerous if we do not take precautions to protect ourselves from it’s rays. While sunscreen, hats, and UV protective clothing are an effective way to enjoy the sun and prevent sunburn, it is important to understand that sometimes sunburn does happen regardless of the measures we have taken. Below are a few natural remedies to help ease the pain of a dreaded sunburn.

  1. Aloe Vera- Aloe helps ease the itching and burning when applied to a sunburn. For added relief, put aloe into ice cube trays and freeze for a bonus cooling effect.
  1. Coconut Oil- Gently rub coconut oil into the sunburn. The oil takes out the burn and tightens the skin to help reduce wrinkles that may result from sun damage.
  2. Witch Hazel- Apply a compress of witch hazel to the affected area. This will help with pain and swelling as well as help eliminate peeling.
  3. Baking Soda Bath- Mix 1 cup of baking soda into a cool bath and soak for no more than 15-20 minutes.
  4. Black Tea- Allow tea bags to soak and then apply them to the affected area. There are components in black tea that can help remove heat from sunburn and other components, called catechins that help prevent and repair skin damage.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar- There are countless benefits and uses for apple cider vinegar. It comes as no surprise that it can also help soothe and heal a sunburn. You can add it to a spray bottle and use it as a mist or you can add it to a cool compress and apply it by gently pressing it on to the affected areas.
  6. Cucumber- Make a paste by blending chilled cucumbers. Apply the paste to sunburned areas to help ease pain and inflammation.

Stay safe, be smart out there, and enjoy Summer while it lasts.

Tips for Camping With Children

The sun is up, the skies are blue, the birds are chirping, the pavement is sizzling. Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to pack up the car and head to the woods for an unplugged weekend with nature. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are from our family camping trips on the Manistee River. Nothing will ever compare to the magic the river brought to us. However, I’m now a mother of a rambunctious toddler, and I cannot even begin to imagine how my parents handled camping with 6 of us, ranging in age from 1-15. I have a whole new perspective and respect for them! Hats off to the brave and bold parents ready to embark on that family camping trip. Here are a few camping hacks to make the trip a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable for the whole family.

Camping allows the family to disconnect and enjoy what the world has to offer. Encouraging a love for nature in young children allows them to explore and get in touch with their creative side and it also makes for amazing family memories!

What to look for in a Preschool

Selecting a preschool program for your child is an exciting milestone however, it may feel overwhelming. As a parent, you want to find the right program for your child. A program that excites them, provides a safe and secure environment and prioritizes kindergarten readiness.

To help relieve some of the pressure of selecting a preschool program here are some key components to look for:

At AppleTree & Gilden Woods we provide all three components and more in our K-Prep Preschool Program!

Our C.O.R.E. Curriculum System is a combination of industry-respected curriculum and proprietary learning tools:  

  • The Creative Curriculum®
  • Get Set for School®
  • C.O.R.E. Language & Literacy Acquisition Program

The combination of these curriculums ensures that all domains of development necessary for a quality, educational early childhood experience.

Learning centers in a preschool program help to organize the environment and curriculum. At AppleTree & Gilden Woods each K-Prep classroom provides learning centers that help children learn fundamental skills while they explore new concepts through hands-on activities.

To ensure all children’s interests are being recognized AppleTree & Gilden Woods also provide several enrichment programs. The following enrichment programs are available:

  • C.O.R.E. Values Character Education
  • Fitness Program- “Pedal’s Fun ‘N’ Fit”
  • Music & Movement Program- “Lyric’s Melody Makers”
  • Foreign Language Program- “Adabelle’s Spanish Club”
  • Technology Program- “Tech Time with Terance”
  • S.T.E.M.- Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

Learn more about our K-Prep Preschool Program and schedule your personal tour by contacting your local AppleTree or Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool. Click here to find a school near you!

5 Tips on Bike Safety

One of the topics our K-Prep preschoolers are exploring in the month of July is bike safety! Here are five tips to keep you and your family safe while enjoying a bike ride:

Riding bikes with your family is a great way to exercise and spend time together. Use these tips to stay safe and have fun this summer!


How Art Can Influence Children’s Learning

The most common way that young children learn is through interacting with the world around them. By creating open-ended art children are given the opportunity to explore their senses; they can see what happens when colors combine, hear the sound of crinkling tissue paper, smell the saltiness of play dough and touch the stickiness of glue.

Open-ended art means that the outcome of the art project is not predetermined. It gives children the control and freedom to create what they want, how they want.

Children love open art because it’s fun and it provides them opportunities to express themselves. Children must learn how to identify and communicate their emotions. Creating open-ended art gives the child control to do that.

Art also provides children important skills for living. Open art encourages children to learn about planning and problem solving. Crayons are among the many materials that encourage open-ended art. Children can plan what materials they would like to use and how they would like to use them.

Lastly, creating art allows children to develop their fine motor skills. These are the same skills necessary for buttoning a shirt, holding a pencil to write, turning a page while reading and using utensils to eat.

Here is a list of materials that encourage open-ended art:

Happy creating 🙂

Fight the Bite

Pure Michigan summer weather may come with a lot of time spent outdoors at the beach during the day and around the campfire at night.  Regardless of where your family spends its time in the fresh air, it is important to take precautions against mosquito and tick bites to keep your family safe and healthy.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) urges all residents, especially those with children and those that are active outdoors, to protect themselves.  Mosquitoes in Michigan can carry illnesses such as West Nile virus and ticks can carry Lyme disease.  Mosquito and tick-borne diseases can cause mild symptoms or severe infections.

Here are a few reminders to fight the bite when it comes to mosquitoes and ticks:

DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day (Sunday, June 16th, 2019) is a day to appreciate those men in our lives that are important to us. Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, foster fathers, uncles, and/or any special person that we want to honor on this day.

Finding the perfect Father’s Day gift can be difficult, if not impossible, at times.  Really, most fathers just want to feel loved and appreciated.  Anything “homemade” from their little ones can definitely top the list.

Here are a few easy DIY ideas for you and your little one to make for the Dad in your lives this Father’s Day!

  • Father’s Day Handprints and Footprints – These can be done on a piece of canvas (can be found at your local craft store, such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby), a mug, t-shirt, or cardstock placed into a nice picture frame.
  • “Why I Love My Dad” – Have your emergent writer pen their own list or scribe for them all of the reasons why Dad is so awesome.
  • Photo Keepsake – Create a framed photo collage of pictures from throughout the past year or of a special event.  Be sure to grab the tissues though, this gift may cause happy tears.
  • A hand-painted apron- Pick up a white apron from any craft store and have your budding artists create a master piece any Dad would love to wear!
  • A Father’s Day Acrostic Poem– Write Dad, Father, or their Name vertically and have your little one come up with words that remind them of Dad.



Good luck finding the “perfect” gift for this Father’s Day!  The simplest, heartfelt gifts can be the most appreciated.

June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month

June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month. A growing body of research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health and possibly positive behavioral and mental health. To get the amount that’s recommended, most people need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they currently eat every day.  Most parents understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and desperately want their children to eat more of them.  However, this often becomes a struggle at meal times.  Here are a few important tips:


  1. Introduce fruits and veggies at a very young age —When a breastfeeding mother eats a varied diet, countless components of the foods she eats seasons her milk subtly. In this way, a breastfed baby is exposed to a wide variety of flavors before a single vegetable touches his or her lips.  If you are a breastfeeding mother, make sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables yourself.
  2. Offer them often and consistently—Once you begin to introduce solid foods to your baby, continue to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables and a variety of tastes and textures. Your baby may reject green beans, spinach, or other foods, but repeatedly offering a variety of foods usually leads to acceptance and eventually a preference for those foods. Try, try again.
  3. Don’t hide them in other foods—If you’re looking to increase your child’s long-term intake of fruits and vegetables, don’t hide them. This will do nothing to foster a long-term appreciation. Hiding a 1/4 cup of pureed cauliflower in your child’s macaroni and cheese won’t teach your child to appreciate cauliflower, instead it will foster an appreciation for macaroni and cheese.  However, hiding fruits or vegetables in certain foods is not always wrong as long as you are aware that it’s only for the nutritional value and not for the purpose of instilling the valuable lesson of healthy food choices. For this lesson to sink in offering the actual fruit or vegetable and increasing your child’s exposure to it is the only way to go.
  4. Lead by example! —Take care to remember how deeply your choices as a parent affect those of your children. Profoundly impressionable, they’re looking to you to guide them into making the right choices for themselves.  By actively choosing and savoring vegetables yourself, you mold the way your child views fruits and vegetables.  Eat well, and your children will learn to eat well, too.


Visit a local farmer’s market and let your child experience the bright and vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables. Celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, but remember to enjoy these necessary foods all year long.

7 Tips to Teach Children Teamwork

We’ve all heard the clichés, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” “Together Everyone Achieves More.” As adults, we know how much of an integral role that teamwork plays in our everyday lives; in our friendships, relationships, and most certainly in the work place. Teamwork is supporting each other and working to achieve a common goal. But what does that mean to children, and how can we teach them from a young age to be team players?

Here are a few ideas to help you promote teamwork and good sportsmanship in your day to day routine:

  1. Allow your children to plan a meal together or with you, depending on age. Have them plan it from start to finish; making the grocery list, preparing the meal, setting the table, serving, and washing the dishes.
  2. Play games that encourage team work and problem solving. Organized sports or even a neighborhood game of tag will help them learn how to work with others.
  3. Model teamwork by helping them with a chore or helping another family member get something done that they were working on.
  4. Play a chain reaction game. Give them a card with a silly task to do once someone else does a silly task. For example, one of the cards could read “once someone claps their hands three times, get up and turn off the lights.” Then the next card would read “when someone turns off the lights, bark like a dog.” And so on. This will help put into perspective how much of what we do is dependent on others.
  5. Make up a story together. Create an imaginative masterpiece by taking turns and collaborating on a work of fiction. Bind the book with ribbon or binder rings and keep it to read together often. You could even create a story out loud. Alternate sentences and see what silly story can come out of working together!
  6. Create a piece of art together. Start with any materials you have lying around the house. Use paper or canvas and take turns adding something to the art piece. Display in their room when you are done.
  7. Put together a puzzle. Pick one out together and work to complete it

How to Deal With a Biter

“Welcome to Parenthood.” An adage you will find yourself being told, and even telling other parents, when a particularly ‘exciting’ thing occurs on your parenting journey; sleepless nights, pouring orange juice on your child’s cereal instead of milk, unsuccessfully potty training, and getting the notes coming home that your child is biting. I received the first of my ‘biting’ letters just a couple weeks ago. I ran through a gambit of emotions; I rationalized “Oh it’s natural, he’s getting his molars, they have to hurt, I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it!” I irrationalized, “He had to have been provoked. That’s so unlike him.” I cried, “What did we do as parents? I should have done better by him.” I denied, “It couldn’t have been that bad, he wouldn’t really hurt someone, even if it wasn’t on purpose.” I internalized, “I should have given him Tylenol, I knew he was a bit cranky, I should have read the symptoms.”

If your child does go through a biting phase, rest assured that you are not alone. It is a natural reaction in young children and can be a result of many different stressors or reasons. I am here to encourage and support you. As a parent who is going through it, I have a few suggestions that could possibly help your situation. Please remember that each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Keep an open mind and breathe through it!

  1. Don’t Bite Back- Try teaching your child positive behaviors. Be clear and be firm but keep in mind if you are asking them not to do something, but doing it to them, it will send mixed messages.
  2. Remain Calm- Children do most things for a reaction, any reaction. As much as it may hurt, be mindful of how you react. Stay centered and try to keep your cool. It may be difficult in a surprised or stressful situation, but it may eliminate further biting if they do not get the reaction that they are looking for.
  3. Supervise Closely- Watch your child when they are around others, or when you think that they may be teething, or stressed. Try to stay ahead of them, if possible, to redirect them from biting.
  4. Provide Something They Can Bite- Especially with infants, they are looking for something they can sink their sore gums into. Even toddlers or preschoolers can crave that sensation. There are a variety of teethers and teething necklaces for the older children that can help satiate that desire.
  5. Redirect- After a biting incident occurs, remove the child from the situation. Have a firm conversation with them that helps bring awareness to their actions, and then redirect them to a different activity that may be a bit more calm or quiet.
  6. Read Books About Biting- As you read, ask your child questions about the characters. Some recommended titles: “No Biting” by Karen Katz and “Teeth are not for Biting” by Elizabeth Verdick.

Lean on your support system and find solace in the fact that this too is a phase.

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