Halloween Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

Halloween is an exciting time of year for our young ones. It’s the day children dress up in costumes and prep their bags as they go around from house to house collecting as many treats as they can! However, trick-or-treating can be dangerous without taking proper safety precautions.

Here are some Halloween Safety Tips to ensure that your child has a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience this year!

Photo credit: CDC Public Health Matters

1. Never let your child go trick-or-treating alone. Have your child walk with a trusted parent or guardian.

2. Map out the route. Only trick-or-treat in areas that you are familiar with. Plan your walking route out in advance.

3. Use a flashlight and bring extra batteries to help you see others. Have your child wear a glow necklace or add reflective tape to their costume so others can see them.

4. Walk, do not run, in well-lit areas. Stay on the sidewalks and avoid walking through people’s lawns or dark alleyways. 

5. Look both ways when crossing the street. Use crosswalks as much as possible. Do not assume cars will stop for you.

6. Check the candy or “treats” your child receives. Examine the goodies to make sure that the packaging is not tampered with and that they are not a choking hazard to your child.

Photo credit: Photo Getty

The safety of our children is of the utmost importance. By following these tips, your children will surely have a safe and spooktacular Halloween!

For more information, check us out on Instagram (@greatstartearlylearning).

Best Places To Go Pumpkin Picking in New Jersey

Fall is officially here – The leaves are falling, the air is brisk, and Halloween is right around the corner.  Looking for plans this weekend? Spend it with your family and friends at your local New Jersey farm! From picking your own pumpkins to sipping on some fresh apple cider, your options for fun fall activities are endless. We’ve rounded up a list of where to go pumpkin picking throughout the Garden State!

NORTH JERSEY FARMS

Abma’s Farm
Location: Wycoff, NJ
Website: https://abmasfarm.com/

Take a hayride through a 30-acre farm to the pumpkin patch! Be sure to leave room in your stomach for fresh apple cider and doughnuts from their market.

Photo Courtesy of Abma’s Farm

Alstede Farms
Location: Chester, NJ
Website: https://www.alstedefarms.com/

Offering a variety of fall activities, this farm will surely keep the kids entertained. On top of the many pick-your-own options, there is also a Harvest Moon Hay Ride and Night Time Corn Maze!

Photo courtesy of Alstede Farms

Conklin Farm-U-Pick
Location: Montville, NJ
Website: https://conklinupick.com/

Stop at Conklin Farm for pumpkin picking and hayrides! Grab a freshly baked pumpkin or apple pie on your way out.

Photo courtesy of Conklin Farm U-Pick

Demarest Farms
Location: Hillsdale, NJ
Website: https://demarestfarms.com/

General admission includes free parking, entrance to the pumpkin patch, hay wagon ride, two petting zoos, an adventure playground, corn box, photo display area, wooden playsets, and more!

Photo courtesy of Demarest Farms

Farms View Farm
Location: Wayne, NJ
Website: https://farmsview.com/pumpkin-picking-nj/

Enjoy a short hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin! Your admission also includes refreshments such as cider and donuts.

Photo courtesy of Farms View Farm

Heaven Hill Farm
Location: Vernon, NJ
Website: https://heavenhillfarm.com/farm-garden/great-pumpkin-festival/

Known for The Great Pumpkin Festival, this 110-acre farm offers more than 40 fun-filled, family-friendly activities including pumpkin picking, a corn maze, pig races, and plenty more!

Photo courtesy of Heaven Hill Farm

Ort Farms
Location: Long Valley, NJ
Website: https://www.ortfarms.com/

On top of pumpkin picking, kids can spend their day in the corn maze, meeting farm animals, and going on train and monster truck rides!

Photo courtesy of Ort Farms

Stony Hill Farms
Location: Chester, NJ
Website: https://stonyhillfarms.com/market/funpark/

Who knew a farm could offer so many maze options? Corn mazes, fence mazes, rope mazes, tile mazes, and more. Stony Hill’s Fun Park has lots of activities for kids and families!

Photo courtesy of Stony Hill Farms

Sussex County Strawberry Farm
Location: Andover, NJ
Website: http://www.sussexcountystrawberryfarm.com/pumpkins.asp

This farm is guaranteed to be enjoyable for the entire family! Get your cameras ready because you’ll capture great shots of your little ones sitting in the pumpkin patch. 

Photo courtesy of Sussex County Strawberry Farm

Wightman’s Farm
Location: Morristown, NJ
Website: https://wightmanfarms.com/farm-activities.html

Located in Morristown, NJ, this farm offers hayrides, a pumpkin slingshot, pick your own apples, a hay maze and more! 

Photo courtesy of Wightman’s Farm

CENTRAL JERSEY FARMS

Happy Day Farm
Location: Manalapan, NJ
Website: http://www.happydayfarmnj.com/

Get the best of both worlds by picking pumpkins AND sunflowers! You can also navigate your way through their 10-acre corn maze playing Maize-O-Poly.

Photo courtesy of Happy Day Farm

Johnson’s Corner Farm
Location: Medford, NJ
Website: https://www.johnsonsfarm.com/

This farm’s fall festival includes live music, a family-friendly corn maze, gem mining, apple and pumpkin picking hayrides, and a food tent serving up tasty selections from the grill!

Photo courtesy of Johnson’s Corner Farm

Melick’s Town Farm
Location: Califon, NJ
Website: https://www.melickstownfarm.com/

No entry fee, just pay for what you pick! U-Pick options include pumpkins, apples, and sweet corn. Enjoy the horse-drawn wagon rides, corn maze, cute farm goats, and play tractor on this 200-acre farm!

Photo courtesy of Melick’s Town Farm

Norz Hill Farm
Location: Hillsborough, NJ
Website: http://www.norzhillfarm.com/

Take a hay wagon ride to the farm where you can meet the farm animals including cows, miniature donkeys, horses, alpaca, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs, bunnies, a zonkey and even emu! Afterward, you’ll be taken right to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkins!

Photo courtesy of Norz Hill Farm

Oasis Family Farm
Location: Robbinsville Township, NJ
Website: https://www.oasisfamilyfarm.com/

Aside from pumpkin picking, Oasis Family Farm offers a “Little Monster Kids Trail”, a kid-friendly, family-oriented, interactive activity that will help you discover the little monster that exists within you. Don’t miss out on the spooktacular photo opportunities available along this trail!

Photo courtesy of Oasis Family Farm

Terhune Orchards
Location: Lawrence Township, NJ
Website: https://terhuneorchards.com/festivals/

Pony rides, tractor-drawn wagon rides, pumpkin painting, barnyard of animals, duck races, the Corn Stalk Maze, Hay Bale Maze, and Farm Trail are just some of the other fun activities Terhune Orchards offers to visitors!

Photo courtesy of Terhune Orchards

SOUTH JERSEY FARMS

Duffield’s Farm
Location: Sewell, NJ
Website: https://www.duffieldsfarm.com/

The fun doesn’t stop with pumpkin picking hayrides. If you’re looking for more, stop by the corn maze, Barn Bounce, and Barnyard Express!

Photo courtesy of Duffield’s Farm

Johnson’s Locust Hall Harm
Location: Jobstown, NJ
Website: https://www.johnsonslocusthallfarm.com/pick-your-own-family-fun/

After picking your own pumpkins and apples, stop by the farm to meet the animals and the market to grab a snack! This farm also has a corn maze and sunflower patch that is perfect for pictures.

Photo courtesy of Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm

Springdale Farms
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Website: http://www.springdalefarms.com/

Located in Cherry Hill, Springdale Farms offers pumpkin picking hayrides and The Amazing Bee Corn Maze where visitors find clues, fun facts, and other games to play along the way.

Photo courtesy of Springdale Farms

For more information, check us out on Instagram (@greatstartearlylearning).

The Impact of Bullying in Preschools

Bullying in schools is a worldwide, complex issue that can have short-term and long-term negative effects on a child, especially those in preschool who are engaging in an environment outside their own home for the first time. During this time, their level of social interaction increases tremendously as children meet new people, such as their teachers and classmates. They also participate in their school activities and lessons on a day-to-day basis.

According to research studies, about 7-20% of preschool and early school-aged children have levels of disruptive, aggressive behaviors that are severe enough to qualify for a mental health diagnosis (Fox et al., 2003). If these disruptive and aggressive behaviors go on without correction, it is very likely that a child will become a severe bully as he/she gets older.

Typically, children at this age don’t speak up about being bullied, so it is important that parents, guardians, teachers, and staff can identify the signs of bullying. Some signs to look out for if a child is being bullied include, but are not limited to:

– Bruises, scrapes, marks, or other unexplained injuries
– Sudden changes in behavior or mood
– Clothing and / or other belongings that are often missing, torn, or broken
– Indicators or statements that they don’t have any friends or that no one likes them
– Refusal or reluctance to go to daycare or preschool

– Statements that they “hate” daycare or preschool
– Complaints of stomach aches, headaches, or saying they’re sick
– Problems with eating or sleeping
– Regressed behavior (e.g. bedwetting)

So how can childcare providers and teachers help in this matter?

Since October is Bullying Prevention Month, we want to focus on training for childcare professionals that help identify and address bullying behaviors. Training in childcare challenges that arise is an important way to help teachers be prepared for many tough situations. 

Transform your classroom into a safe, bully-free environment with this online training program:

Bullying Prevention and Response Training and Continuing Education Online Program. Courtesy of stopbullying.gov

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