A little one’s firsts are something to treasure, but sometimes the plans to preserve those precious memories don’t always come to fruition.
Kara Guizzetti is out to change that.
“Pinterest is full of ideas to commemorate each milestone and event in a baby’s first year, but actually following through with making the project can be intimidating,” said the early childhood and preschool supervisor for the St. Charles Park District.
With the Baby’s First programs, Guizzetti looks to make the process far easier for parents.
“I gather the supplies, embellish and personalize the project and then clean up the mess,” she said. “If I’m handling the paint, for example, parents don’t have to worry about having a baby crawl away mid-project and spreading color all over the carpet.”
Those with children 2 and younger can create a cherished keepsake using their baby’s feet, hands or photo with the Baby’s First Birthday Keepsake offering. Those interested are encouraged to register and then call 630-513-4326 to schedule an appointment close to their child’s birthday.
The park district also offers the chance for parents to commemorate special times throughout the year with Baby’s First Holidays. Using their baby’s footprints, parents can create mementos around Grandparent’s Day the week of September 11, Halloween the week of October 16, Thanksgiving the week of November 6 and winter holidays the week of December 4.
The chance to create something meaningful is a joy for all involved.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few families who returned with newborn siblings,” Guizzetti said. “Sometimes, we create a project using prints from all the kids in the family.”
Most projects take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete and participants are able to take their keepsake home that day. Registration is required.
New Parenting Preschoolers Programs
A new program this fall will provide those with preschool-aged children a chance to connect and converse about important parenting topics.
Parenting Preschoolers will gather monthly for discussions, which will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursdays. Topics will include Signs and Symptoms of Allergies and Asthma with Nurse Natalie Amodeo on September 14, Benefits of Reading with your Child on October 12, Raising Kind Kids on November 9 and Winter Break Should be a Playful Break on December 14.
“Topics were chosen based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Guizzetti said. “The approach I want to take in these meetings is to present a topic, share anything I may have learned as a mom and as an early childhood educator of more than 25 years, and give parents an opportunity to discuss, add suggestions and support each other.”
The educator firmly believes that support from other parents is key when making decisions and facing the challenges that come with raising young children.
“I’ve always encouraged our preschool families to connect with each other, and I felt that some monthly, scheduled time might facilitate that,” she said.
All programs are free to attend, though participants are asked to register in advance. Preschoolers are also welcome to play while parents talk.
All offerings take place at the Pottawatomie Community Center. To learn more or to register, visit www.stcparks.org.