Family |

Summer Crafts and Activities for Kids

3 minute read

School’s out! Learning and homework have officially become the last things on kids’ minds. That’s alright for a few weeks of summer, but it’s important to have a plan in place to prevent academic backsliding. We have a number of summer crafts and activities to keep your student engaged!

As a parent, we know it can be a challenge to strike a balance between fun and learning. To help you out, we’ve assembled some brain stimulating ideas that are enjoyable and affordable so your kids can enjoy their time off of school while staying mentally sharp at the same time.

Listed below are summer crafts and activities for different age groups to help keep both your younger and older kiddos from that dreaded summer brain drain.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Young children still need a lot of routine and structure in their days regardless of the season.

  • Hands-on fun encourages exploration and builds fine motor skills, plus young kids love to get messy!
  • Reading is a must. 2 -4 year-olds can read the same book every day without getting sick of it, but try to aim for at least one new read a week to keep their minds going. This doesn’t mean a brand new book, maybe just one they haven’t reached for in a while, or a trip to the library for story hour.
  • Baking is another great activity that doubles as a snack. A well-fed toddler, is a happy toddler.

School-Aged Children

Kids’ imaginations are going crazy at this young and exciting age. It’s a great opportunity to dive deeper into their interests and expand their knowledge and understanding.

  • When it comes to summer reading for these kids, it’s a good idea to make frequent library trips to let them find books that they are interested in reading. It could also be fun to help them write their own book for the summer.
  • Take a theme and roll with it.
    • If your child has a passion for oceans, for example, make that the focal point of their learning opportunities with books about oceans, ocean-themed movie nights, ocean crafts, a trip to the aquarium, ocean-inspired snacks, etc. You get the idea, and your child will be over the moon that you’re investing time and energy into something they love.
  • It’s also a great age to think about signing them up for summer camp. Camp allows kids to branch out a little in a safe environment and learn new skills and make new friends. There is a camp for any interest and comfort level, from day camps to over-nighters, from sports camp to music camp.

Teenagers

If the idea of reining in a teenager for the summer scares you, you’re not alone. Thankfully there are pioneers out there that have survived a summer with teens and are willing to share their wisdom.

  • An “I’m bored jar” can be a lifesaver. Take some cues from this Ultimate List for ideas to include so they never have an excuse to complain. It’s also good to remind them that being bored is ok and their personalities and creativity can be developed through boredom.
  • For older teens, a summer job can provide them with the opportunity to learn a new skill, meet new people, and earn some money for their summer plans with friends. There are so many positions available for teens to take advantage of:
    • Camp Counselor/Lifeguard
    • Plant/Pet Sitter
    • Nanny/Housekeeper
    • Tutor
    • Little League Coach
  • For fun with the family, you can entice them with movie/game nights or let them plan the menu and help prepare at least one meal a week. It’s something that can end up being fun without feeling like you’re desperately trying to make them have fun with you. After all, freedom at this age is something they cherish.

Sources:
https://www.adventhealth.com/blog/how-keep-kids-brains-stimulated-over-summer

https://www.coloradoparent.com/keeping-your-child-stimulated-all-summer-long/

https://www.raisesmartkid.com/all-ages/1-articles/3-kids-summer-activities-to-make-them-smart

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0612/10-great-summer-jobs-for-teens.aspx

black mold

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

The Dangers of Black Mold

3 minute read

We all love a good spooky story, right?

Well, as long as it’s not too scary.

And if we’ve got a calming cup of hot cocoa close by.

It also helps if the story is completely made up…

This fall, Aprilaire presents a series of bone-chilling tales of a mysterious creature that you just might find lurking in your very own home.

This is:

The Case Of The Black Mold

Tale #1 – Symptoms

Ahhh, fall has arrived. You take a step outside to greet the new day and you’re met with crisp air and a warming sun on your face. The dewy grass adds a shimmering comfort to the shifting of seasons, as the colorful leaves drift down onto your lawn.

You’re ready for a break from the summer heat. Calming visions dance through your head: hot apple cider, comfy scarves, afternoons of football, and weekends at pumpkin patches. Everything is exactly how it should be. You head back inside to continue your delightful day.

But then something changes. Something disrupts that new-season-sensation and a different, darker feeling starts to set in.

You can’t see anything that’s changed. You don’t hear anything strange. But you feel it. Deep down you know it’s there.

The feeling crawls slowly up the back of your neck. You close your eyes as you feel it get closer and closer, you know you can’t avoid whatever it is that’s ruining your perfect morning.

You sneeze. It’s a big one. You probably woke up the kids.

But what caused it? Simple fall allergies?

Or something much, much darker?

Tale #2 – Seeking Out

The kids straggle out of bed, earlier than normal on a Saturday morning. (Probably because of that echoing sneeze.)

After a quick hug and covering weekend plans, you notice little Billy is rubbing his eyes. It’d be normal to work a little tiredness out of your eyes first thing in the morning, but it only seems to be getting worse for Billy.

He just can’t stop itching his eyes.

Your mind goes into investigation mode. First the sneeze…and now the itchy eyes.

Something is in your house.

While the kids finish up their eggs and bacon, you head out on a mission, of sorts. You’re no home expert, but you know a thing or two.

You check the bedrooms…nothing. Well, the kids’ rooms desperately need cleaning, but a few piles of dirty clothes aren’t ruining your fall.

You take a peek in the attic. Probably a bat or two flying around up there, which gets you even more in the fall spirit. They can stay for now.

Nothing in the living room. Nothing in the kitchen. The bathrooms seem to be normal.

Now you know what you have to do. You have to go into the deepest, darkest place of your home. The spot where unneeded blankets go to waste away. Where half-started projects rest, frozen in time.

This thing…whatever it is, must be in the basement.

Tale #3 – Vanquishing

You didn’t think fall would start like this.

Here you are, slowly descending the steps into your cold, dark basement. On edge. Uncertain of what you’ll find.

But you know you have to go there.

You can sense this is where all the problems are coming from. The sneezing. Billy’s itchy eyes. That feeling of discomfort that’s slowly pervading your home, your sanctuary.

You reach the bottom of the steps and flip on the lights. You’re greeted by the familiar faces of stacked storage containers and that extra sofa for when Billy goes off to college.

But there’s another thing. Something in the air. A smell that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And, you guessed it, this thing makes you sneeze yet again.

You walk toward it, knowing you need to take it on directly if you’re ever going to be free of the hideous stranglehold it has on your family and your home.

Then, as the smell gets stronger and stronger, you see it. You’re face to face with this horrible creature, and it’s just too much to bear.

The Black Mold seems to be dragging itself out of your crawl space, creeping closer and closer until you feel like you have to scream.

It’s just another sneeze.

But you’ve had enough. You can’t live like this.

You’re calling in backup.

You go to Aprilaire’s Find A Pro database to seek out professional help for this monster that has infiltrated your home.

Healthy Air Is on the Way

Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

You talk it out with a knowledgeable indoor air quality professional, who gives you the resources you need to rip the monstrous Black Mold out of its stronghold and return your home to a place of peace.

It’s your favorite time of year, after all. You deserve to enjoy it in a healthy, happy, unhaunted home.

experiments

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Family Learning: Child Friendly Experiments For Staying Healthy

2 minute read

There has never been a more critical time to teach children the importance of keeping their germs to themselves. But more than simply telling children they need to wash their hands and wear a mask, you can have a real impact by showing them in enjoyable experiments what germs are and how they spread.

Staying Healthy Experiments For Kids

Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

In this experiment, glitter is used to represent our germs and how they spread from one thing to another throughout our day if we don’t wash our hands.

Most parents already know that glitter is difficult to get off, which reinforces the importance of washing hands for at least 20 seconds to thoroughly remove harmful germs.

Make A Wish

Typically you want to blow out all the candles on your birthday cake or it means your wish won’t come true. But with this experiment, the more candles left burning, the better!

Everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye, showed how this experiment works in a short video. By trying to blow out the candles through various types of materials, kids can see how some are more effective than others. And it serves as a reminder that masks are an important part of reducing the spread of germs when we cough, sneeze, spit or breathe too close to someone else.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

It can be a hard concept for young children to understand: There are things in the air that we can’t see that can make us sneeze, cause food to go bad, or make us very sick.

With a few simple household items in this experiment, you can help shed some light on the mystery and reinforce the lessons you’re trying to teach kids about staying healthy. This particular experiment focuses on air quality, which is important to keep in mind at home, in school, and wherever kids venture off to.

Goals For Kids

All these experiments share common learning objectives.

The goals are for kids to:

  • Understand what germs are
  • Know that germs are everywhere (the air, our hands, surfaces we touch), but are too small to see with our eyes
  • Understand that everyone has germs and some germs make people sick
  • Understand that washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping our hands out of our mouths, eyes, and noses will help reduce the spread of germs

 

 

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
Breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn More

News |

Aprilaire Partners with Wellness Within Your Walls

2 minute read

Aprilaire is the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for 2020 for Wellness Within Your Walls.

Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) is an award-winning education and certification organization which supports reducing and eliminating toxins in living environments to improve overall health and wellness.

The organization’s one-of-a-kind education and certification process enables consumers and professionals to increase awareness about toxins in building materials and furnishings and guide them toward making homes healthier.

Wellness Within Your Walls partnership for national campaign

WWYW will partner with Aprilaire to launch a national “Breathe Healthy” awareness campaign in 2020 to educate consumers, homeowners and the build/design community about the latest products and services that help improve air quality in homes.

“We believe everyone deserves to breathe healthy air, and we believe in the power of education,” said Dale Philippi, president of Aprilaire. “Our mission is to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes. We are proud to partner with WWYW– an organization building awareness with consumers and professionals about the importance of healthy air.”

“We are excited by our new partnership with Aprilaire. They offer products that solve multiple issues relating to affordable ventilation and humidity control for homes and we’re proud to work with Aprilaire to further elevate the dialog about health and wellness in living environments,” said Jillian Pritchard Cooke, founder of WWYW.

In addition to the “Breathe Healthy” campaign with WWYW, Aprilaire is the FY20 National Healthy Air Sponsor for the American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb events which support raising awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. The two initiatives will dovetail to further educate consumers and professionals alike about why healthy air – especially in the home, is vital for good health. Good air quality improves overall wellness, helps prevent irritating allergens and pests, and helps shield homes from costly damages.

About Wellness Within Your Walls

Wellness Within Your Walls® is an award-winning informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. With a goal to empower and guide consumers and professionals toward healthier living environments, WWYW certifies people, places, products and programs globally through education and health and wellness protocols. WWYW’s 10-step holistic approach, known as the Healthy Living System™, results in a legacy of health, harmony and sustainability in living environments. WWYW was founded by Jillian Pritchard Cooke, a 30-year industry veteran with experience as president of interior design firm DES-SYN and owner of the eco-living lifestyle boutique BEE. While designing Atlanta’s EcoManor in 2006, the first Gold LEED-certified single-family residence in the U.S., a cancer diagnosis became the catalyst for turning Jillian’s expertise into a passionate commitment to create healthier living environments by reducing toxins. Wellness Within Your Walls was born. The organization provides frequent and sought-after speakers at trade shows, educational opportunities, workshops, seminars and other industry events. For more information, visit: http://www.wellnesswithinyourwalls.com.