Resources for Parents

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Parenting Tips

5 years - kindergarten

0-15 Months

  • Have a daily routine. Provide a predictable schedule for your baby with regular meal, bath, nap, and bedtimes. This gives your baby a sense of security and safety.
  • During routines, talk about what you are doing. “When your bath is over, we’ll put on your pajamas and then read a book before bed.” “Let’s make sure you are buckled in safely before we start the car.”
  • Respond to your baby’s cries. Immediately tuning in to your baby’s needs develops attachment and trust. You cannot spoil your baby by responding right away.
  • Make sleep-time safe. Avoid toys, blankets, and pillows in your baby’s sleeping area and always put your baby to sleep on her back.
  • Baby wants to move. Help her get ready for walking, but don’t rush her. Keep safe objects within her reach to use for pulling up. Put a toy on a sturdy chair or the couch so she will want to pull herself up to reach it. Later, give her a push and pull toy or even a cardboard box to push in front of her to help her practice walking.

Tummy Time Activities to Strengthen Baby

Tummy Time should begin as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital. Tummy Time is essential for infants’ core, motor, and sensory development and achievement of milestones.

  • Helps improve neck and head control, and strengthens back, shoulder muscles, and core
  • Prevents flat spots on baby’s head
  • Promotes motor and sensory development

Tummy Time Activities to Strengthen BabyTiempo Boca Abajo Actividades Para Fortalecer al Bebéटमी टाइम बच्चे को मजबूत बनाने के लिए गतिविधियाँWakati wa kulala kifudifudi na michezo

16-36 Months

  • Be patient with your little explorer. Toddlers need to repeat activities many, many times.
  • Acknowledge feelings. Give your child words for what he is feeling. “I know you are sad.” He has to know you understand before he can listen to you. Help your child understand how others feel. “Edney feels sad when you take his blocks. Let’s use these ones instead so you can both play.”
  • Redirect. Head off a tantrum by offering another activity when you see your child is getting frustrated.
  • Choose your words. Your toddler will repeat everything you say. In her presence, use only words you want her to learn and say only things that you don’t mind being repeated to others.
  • Get her ready. Before you start a new routine, tell your child what will happen so that she can prepare herself. Use simple words such as, “Tomorrow we’re going to visit the library for story time.” Keep it simple and be ready to answer her questions.
  • Can your child share yet? One-year-olds are not ready to share, but you can help your child learn to wait and take turns, which will help him prepare for sharing when he’s older. Help your child learn how to ask for a turn and wait for his turn. Encourage him to say, “May I have a turn?” and then offer to help him pass the time while he waits by suggesting another toy or offering to read a short book. 

3-4 Years

  • Let your child see you writing and reading. You are the best role model for your child – if he thinks you enjoy reading, he will, too!
  • Give your child crayons and paper to “work” alongside you. Ask her what she drew or wrote and write down what she says.
  • Do chores together: Develop cooperation and responsibility early by letting your child help out.
  • Be amazed. Let your child know how impressed you are with his accomplishments and abilities. Be specific. Say, “It’s great how you filled the whole page with color,” rather than, “Great job!”
  • Help her manage feelings. If your child is angry, help her find safe ways to show that she’s upset. Encourage her to use words or to find a quiet place to calm down, rather than yelling or hitting. She may need your help to find the words for her feelings.

5 Years/Kindergarten

  • Encourage independence. Nurture independence by allowing your child to make certain choices, such as allowing him to choose his clothing. If he is not already doing it, teach him how to open his own drinks or food containers. Children may bring their own lunch to school and they will have to open their lunch on their own. Also, if your child will be wearing shoes that require laces, teach him how to tie his own shoes.
  • Plan for the first day of school. If you can, take the morning off from work and take your child to school. If your child will ride the bus, be sure to put a nametag on her (or in her backpack) and include her first name, your phone number, and grade or classroom teacher name.
  • Dress your child in comfortable clothing. Have him wear elastic waistband pants (zippers, belts, and buttons may be too much during the first few days). This way if he waits until the last minute to use the restroom, it will be easier for him. Also, if your child does not know how to tie his own shoes, have him wear Velcro or slip-on shoes.

Other programs available for children under 5 in the Appleton Area School District

Parent Resource Libraries

The parent resource libraries provide a connection with Birth-Five families by offering a media library of books, videos/DVDs, audio tapes and other educational materials. The libraries are located at the CELC and were sponsored by grants from the Appleton Education Foundation.

The libraries provide a variety of relevant information, including but not limited to:

  • Parenting
  • Discipline
  • Birth - Five development
  • Language and literacy
  • Special needs
  • Mental health issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Other topics that will help families raise healthy and happy children

Literacy bags are also available for check-out through the Birth-Five Site Resource Coordinator at each of the five target schools. The literacy bags are topic based and include books, activity cards and other materials appropriate for families who have children under age 5. 


AASD Birth-Five Outreach
(920) 852-5300 ext. 61016

Community Resources


United Way 2-1-1 provides easy access to health and human services, to give callers an opportunity to give or get help and serves as a hub for community information in times of disaster. 2-1-1 is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days a week and is available at no cost to all residents of the communities they serve, just dial 2-1-1. Translation services and TDD access (920) 954-7202 are available.


The Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) website for limited income Wisconsin residents to screen, apply for, and maintain health and nutrition benefits. The ACCESS website includes three easy-to-use features: (1) a short self-assessment tool to find out if someone appears to be eligible for more than a dozen health and nutrition programs; (2) an online tool to apply for key programs (FoodShare, Family Medicaid, and family planning services); and (3) a benefit management tool so certain program recipients can check the status of their benefits and report required changes to maintain their benefits. 

Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Program to support families who have children and youth with special needs and the providers who serve them, through information and referral supports, as well as connecting families with Family Voices and the Parent to Parent Program to provide parent matches. They also provide training to parent and professionals who serve children and youth with special health care needs.


Monday through Friday
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Phone: (920) 969-5325
Toll-Free: 1-877-568-5205
[email protected]

Parent Connection

This parent education and support program is designed to Encourage, Strengthen and Support Families. The program offers a variety of services, each designed to ease the transition into parenthood and make parenting less stressful and more enjoyable. Services offered include: ‘Parent as Teachers’ Home Visitation, Family Wellness Workshops, Teen Parent Program, Fatherhood Programs, and Family Fun Events.

DPI Resources

Helping Your Preschool Child