Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Plan a Field Trip with Your Kids

As babies grow into children, they absorb information at an astonishing rate. Learning is especially critical during their toddler years, as experienced parents can attest, while their motor skills and language develop. These years seem to zoom by with constant questions and movement as kids explore the world.

Plan a Field Trip with Your Kids What family field trip would your kids enjoy?

One way to help kids learn is to plan a field trip so they can get an up-close look at how the world works. According to the Field Trip Factory, children learn 40 to 60% more when they are outside the classroom. Whether you’re a teacher looking for a unique way to expose your students to future careers, or the parent of a preschooler looking for an afternoon outing that will spark their imagination, planning a field trip is a great way to help kids learn.

Since October is National Go on a Field Trip Month, here are a few tips to help get you started on planning a field trip this fall and how to help kids get the most out of the experience.

It Never Hurts to Ask

“Mommy, how does milk become cheese?” your child asks during their afternoon snack. It’s a simple enough question. You can go ahead and answer (if you know offhand), or refer to a book or the Internet to find out more. Or, you can contact a local dairy farm and arrange a time to give your child a look, up close and personal, at the farm, the farmer, the cows, and the cheese making process.

Whatcom County has a unique distinction as the home a variety of industries—agriculture, logging, fishing, etc.—as well as one of the top ranking public master’s-granting universities in the western United States. No matter what topic they’re interested in, you can probably find a local expert to share their knowledge. If your kids are interested in biology, try to arrange a trip to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Want to help them learn more about the democratic process? Attend a City Council meeting and schedule a Q & A with your Ward representative.

Remember that the worst any of these individuals can say is no, and you’re no worse off than when you started planning your field trip.

Get Interactive

Kids have all different kinds of learning styles. Some children get the most out of a subject through quietly reading a textbook; others might have trouble understanding a topic unless they can have a tactile experience.

Help your child discover a learning style that helps them most by exploring the various options throughout your field trip activity. Do some reading and research before your visit, get as hands-on as possible during the experience, and follow up by creating a project that describes what they learned using a method that sparks their interest. The end result might be a written report, a play, a homemade meal, or something completely different.

Let Learning Occur Naturally

Even if you put in the time and effort into planning a field trip experience for your kids, the best opportunities for learning can sometimes happen completely at random. Don’t be so busy planning the next activity that you miss out on those wonderful, unpredictable moments for exploration.

What ideas for local field trips would you recommend to Bellingham parents and teachers?

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Quick Look at Whatcom County Flu Clinics

Get kids their shots for flu season. Get kids their shots for flu season.

As another flu season draws closer, especially after so much hubbub throughout 2009, you’re probably anxious to find out when and where you can get seasonal flu shots for your kids.

Luckily for local parents, the Whatcom County Health Department provides a list of flu clinics on their website.

The cost of vaccines varies. The community clinics below will bill Medicare Part B unless noted under clinic name. Group Health Members are encouraged to contact their own health care provider for services. Other clinic specific policies are also included.

Please note that the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine is not available at this time. The Centers for Disease Control predict that initial supplies of H1N1 vaccine will arrive in Whatcom County in mid-October for distribution to priority groups first. For information on H1N1 vaccination priorities, visit the CDC.

Here are just a few flu clinic options in Whatcom County:

Walgreen’s Pharmacy – Bellingham
4090 Meridian Street
(360) 734-0229

Cost: $25
Clinic Hours: All week, 8:30 AM to 4 PM
Special Notes: Ages 9 and up. Preservative Free available.

Lynden Senior Center
401 Grover Street
(360) 354-2921

Cost: $25
Clinic Hours: Thursday, October 1, 8, & 15, 9 AM to 1 PM; October 22, 9 AM to 11 AM
Special Notes: Ages 4 and up. Medicare billing.

Rite Aid- Ferndale
1998 Cherry Street
(360) 384-5113

Cost: $30
Clinic Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, October 7 & 8, 11 AM to 3 PM
Special Notes: All ages.

Blaine Senior Center
763 G Street
(360) 332-1616

Cost: $25
Clinic Hours: Thursday, October 22, 1 to 4 PM
Special Notes: Ages 4 and up. Medicare billing.

Visiting Nurse Home Care
600 Birchwood Ave, Suite 100
(360) 734-9662

Cost: $25
Clinic Hours: Thursday, October 22, 1 to 4 PM
Special Notes: Ages 4 and up. Medicare and insurance billing.

Get a full list of Seasonal Flu Clinics for 2009-2010.

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Celebrate Peace in Bellingham

Celebrate Peace in Bellingham Happy International Day of Peace!

International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution to provide “an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.” Since 2002, September 21st has served as the permanent day of peace around the world. Peace Day events can take a variety of forms, from an individual classroom project to a citywide peace march.

The Whatcom Peace & Justice Center hosts its 6th Annual International Day of Peace Program this year on Monday, September 21, 2009. Its theme, WMD: We Must Disarm!, comes at the urging of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and redirect resources to meet human needs and restore the environment.

Bellingham’s evening begins with a peace march from Maritime Heritage Park at 6:15 PM to First Congregational Church of Bellingham (visit website for directions) for an inspirational evening program, scheduled to begin at 7 PM. Highlights include Keynote Speaker Rev. John Dear, Master of Ceremonies Swil Kanim, the Kulshan Chorus, a Children’s Peace Art Program, and the presentation of the Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award.

The evening’s speaker, Rev. John Dear, was nominated for the Novel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2008. His work for peace has taken him around the world and he is the author/editor of 25 books.

If you can’t make it to Bellingham’s Peace Day festivities, or if the kids are already in bed, check out International Day of Peace for Kids for creative classroom or home craft ideas that will help your kids start thinking about peace.

What Day of Peace activities will your family take part in this year? Leave a comment!

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