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Author: Allie Proko

Show 'N Tell School offers two beautiful locations in the historic towns of Paoli and West Chester.
Autism Awareness Month | Show ‘N Tell School’s

Autism Awareness Month | Show ‘N Tell School’s

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month?


As Autism Awareness Month is taking place, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to be open about the reality of developmental delays in young children and the importance of autism awareness. With the diagnosis of autism becoming ever more present (1 in 68 children in the United States), we felt that it was crucial to address autism awareness in our own community.

Many families are affected by autism, and even if you aren’t one of them, we want our families to be aware of what exactly autism is, how it impacts some of our loved ones, and how we can help to take to #StandUpForAutism.

What is autism?

If you’ve heard about it, but aren’t really sure what it is, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is often detected in early childhood and can affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. There are varying degrees of autism and it can impact individuals differently.

Some common behaviors associated with autism can include a delayed learning of language, difficulty holding eye contact or conversation, lack of interest in social relationships, fixation on parts of objects, etc.

While there isn’t a known direct cause of autism yet and it can’t be “outgrown”, autism can be treated and early diagnosis is key in helping to overcome obstacles that children who have autism might face.

Autism Screening/Diagnosis 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children get screened for autism at 18 and 24 months of age. Please talk to your pediatrician to ensure that your child is receiving these screenings on their visits.

Traditionally, the screening is broken up into two components: a developmental screening and a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Much like it sounds, the developmental screening is an assessment of interaction with the child and observation of how they learn, speak, and move. The comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is considered the second step of the process and is a thorough review of the child’s behavior and development. It is possible that this could include a hearing and vision screening, neurological testing, etc.

Talking to Our Children

Many of our children are too young to fully understand what autism is; however, there are things that we can say and encourage to ensure that they are accepting of children who might have autism. It’s important for our children to know that everyone’s brain works differently and that sometimes that can impact how we act and feel. Let your child know that some boys and girls like to make loud noises, but some boys and girls don’t like those noises and that we should be mindful of all of our friends’ feelings before assuming they like all of the same things that we do. We encourage you to have an open discussion with your child/children about being kind to everyone, no matter their situation, and how being different is OK.

My Tooth Chart for National Children’s Dental Health Month | Show ‘N Tell School

My Tooth Chart for National Children’s Dental Health Month | Show ‘N Tell School

We’ve shared information on National Children’s Dental Health Month (February) before, but we wanted to make sure to revisit this topic again, as it’s so very important.

(You can download this PDF below!)

What is it?

The American Dental Association sponsors National Dental Health Month annually in February to promote good dental hygiene habits in young children to get a head start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

What should you know?

As we all know, brushing and flossing are key to maintaining a healthy smile, especially in young children. Teeth should begin to get brushed around the age of two years old using fluoride toothpaste (in case they swallow it). When they have teeth that touch one another, flossing should be introduced once daily. The plastic floss holders are great for little hands!

Not sure about dental visits? Colgate recommends that your child see a dentist by their first birthday!

What can you do at home?

In an effort to make brushing and flossing a happier habit and less stressful part of your children’s routine, we’ve created a My Tooth Chart for your children to monitor their brushing and flossing weekly. Simply have your little one put a big X through the sun or moon when they have taken care of their teeth at the appropriate time of day.


Instilling Confidence and Self-Worth in Children at Valentine’s Day | Show ‘N Tell School

Instilling Confidence and Self-Worth in Children at Valentine’s Day | Show ‘N Tell School

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to make sure to focus a bit on the importance of instilling self-esteem and self- worth in young children to ensure that they grow to be confident and open-minded children and teenagers, and one day, adults (I know, we don’t like to think about that either!).

During a time of year that is so focused on loving others, we also think that it’s important to make sure that you love yourself. From this, your children will be able to instill the same feelings in others and will literally make the world a better place.

Below, we’re sharing a few ways that you can make sure that you’re children feel confident and understand the value in self-care.

Of course our children know that we love them, that we’re there for them, etc. But let’s be honest, we stare at our screens an awful lot. Whether it’s working late or getting distracted on social media, we’re all guilty of it. For a child who hasn’t yet developed these habits, it’s a sign of disrespect. Think about it: if you were trying to have a conversation with someone or wanted their attention and they were on their phone instead, wouldn’t you feel a bit offended?

If your little one wants to show you something, take a moment and let them show you and let them see that you’re genuinely interested in hearing from them, playing with them, or spending time together. For them to see you prioritizing them will mean the world and make all of the difference in their growth and self-respect down the road.

Our children cannot learn to be kind to others unless we teach them the importance of kindness. Not only is kindness and empathy going to give them gratification because they’ll know that they helped someone or made someones day, but it’ll allow them to make a connection between themselves and another person who is just as important as they are. While we often associate giving with the holiday season, we can show acts of kindness to our children year-round.

Now, more than ever, we need to teach our children to be nonjudgmental and to share their love with those around them regardless of race, fiscal situation, gender, etc.

As children get older, they begin to compare themselves to others which in turn can begin to affect their confidence. Make a point to show your child their strengths and encourage them to see weaknesses as room to grow, not flaws.

Car Seat Safety in Winter | Show ‘N Tell Schools

Car Seat Safety in Winter | Show ‘N Tell Schools

With the colder temperatures, our little ones are bundled up in their toastiest jackets. While this is great for their wellbeing, it’s something that we need to make sure we’re approaching carefully as they are strapped in their car seats so that we are ensuring their utmost safety.


Generally speaking, you’ll want to make sure that you’re following Pennsylvania State Law and doing the following (courtesy of the PennDOT website):

Pennsylvania’s Seat Belt Law

Under Pennsylvania’s primary child passenger safety law, children under the age of 4 must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle. 

Children under 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer.

Children from age 4 up to age 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat.”

Birth – 2 Years

Your child under age 2 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats; Infant-only seats can be used rear-facing; Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

2 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.”

Not only is it important to follow these rules and regulations for car seats in Pennsylvania, but it’s important to remember that traveling with your little one in the winter season requires some different points of action. Though they protect your little ones from the cold, wearing a winter coat in the car seat is actually potentially dangerous as it leaves the harness too loose to be effective in the event of an accident. To keep your children warm in the car, you can keep a blanket over them, or could even have them use their coats backwards so that their arms are in the armholes but that the back of the coat sits over them as a blanket.

Wishing you safe winter!


Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

Thanksgiving Traditions for Families

As a family with a young child, it’s possible that you’re starting to shape new traditions together. If you’re looking for some fun ideas, we’re sharing below some that are easy to implement into your busy schedule. 


The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

At 9:00AM on Thanksgiving morning, NBC broadcasts its annual parade showcasing balloon floats that are sure to mesmerize and most importantly, the arrival of Santa Claus!


Many families in our area are struggling, and we do our best to help our local community. Participate in our adoption/collection (connect with us for more information) or volunteer as a family this season at a shelter or kitchen. Even if you can’t volunteer on Thanksgiving itself, locations like this are always in need of donations and extra hands.

Make a Gratitude Tree

In the spirit of the harvest and also acknowledging gratitude, why not combine the two and make a Gratitude Tree wall art for your dining room? Just get a piece of poster board and draw a tree and its branches. Then, cut out construction paper leaves that everyone can write what they are most grateful for this year. Even though your little ones might need some prompting, you’ll be surprised what they come up with … time to melt hearts!

Collect Family Recipes

We all have a relative whose recipe we look forward to each holiday season… why not document those? Have your little one help with the artwork for the recipe book, and put together a little composition of family favorites.

Pumpkin Picking around The Main Line | Show ‘N Tell School

Pumpkin Picking around The Main Line | Show ‘N Tell School

Ah, Fall is here and we love celebrating this season with little ones. Crunching leaves, baked treats and family outings. What’s not to love? One of our favorite outings this time of year is picking out pumpkins at the local patch and carving them later to leave on the doorstep (or painting, a more kid-friendly alternative).

We’ve compiled a list of some of the hot spots to visit this season with your family. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Highland Orchards

We go for the apple cider donuts. The pumpkins are an added bonus, ha! Highland Orchards in West Chester has Pick Your Own Pumpkin weekends where you can take a shuttle out to their fields (10AM-4:45PM). While it does cost $6 to take the shuttle to the patch, that is applied to the pumpkin that you choose! While you’re there, make sure to feed the animals on the farm, participate in their ongoing Harvest festivities and burn some energy (you’re welcome parents) on the playground! Don’t forget to take home apple cider from their market!

Milky Way Farm

On specific Pumpkin Harvest weekends, families can gather at Milky Way Farm/Chester Springs Creamery for complimentary hayrides (10AM-5PM) that go to their 7 acre pumpkin patch. Not interested in the hayride? You can take their walking path too! You can pick pumpkins in the patch or purchase in their shop.

Sugartown Pumpkin Patch

From 10:00AM to 6:00PM, you’ll find the Sugartown Pumpkin Patch in Malvern ready for picking. Be sure to check out their hayrides, hay bale maze and more while you’re there and stop into the Country Store for your festive decor and fresh jams and jellies.

Linvilla Orchards

Linvilla’s Pumpkinland in Media brings the Fall season alive with life-size scarecrows, toys and local history guides. Indulge in candy and caramel apples while strolling their Jack-O-Lantern Exhibit and make sure to visit the annual Costume Parade!

The Benefits of Yoga for Young Children | Show ‘N Tell School of West Chester

The Benefits of Yoga for Young Children | Show ‘N Tell School of West Chester

We all remember being young and feeling overwhelmed by the distractions, problems and peer pressure that cropped up in our lives. As adults, we’re dealing with so many issues of our own that we sometimes forget that children are experiencing stress too and in many cases, they don’t know how to deal with it.

One stress-fighting modality that we pride ourselves for introducing our students to is Yoga. Not only does Yoga help to provide young children with an outlet for stress management, but it’s also teaching them healthy habits and the importance of wellness in their lives.

As children get older, Yoga can help to boost confidence, focus less on electronic devices as an ‘escape’ and can even help with concentration and focus.

We found this great example of some easy Yoga poses you can do in the yard this Summer!

If you ask a young child about yoga, you’ll often get one of two responses: 1. What’s that? or 2. An elaborate depiction of what we can only image must be the Buddha as they cross their legs, close their eyes and start humming with their hands curled into balls by their side. The thing is, many young children look at Yoga as a purely physical movement associating it with humming “Om” and stretching and it’s up to us to instill in them a true understanding. Below, you’ll find a couple of simple practices to start explaining to your little one’s as we begin our Yoga journey:


Breathing is so important for helping us to calm down and relax but it also allows us to focus better in school and at home. When we’re experiencing emotions like anger, sadness or confusion, we can use special breathing techniques to eliminate those feelings.


In order to balance well, you need to focus on what you’re doing. By practicing Yoga poses that utilize balance and core strength, we’re allowing children to focus entirely on the task at hand instead of having the mind wander or feel overstimulated.


Not only is stretching physically good for your body, but when you do Yoga you learn to associate certain poses with certain stretches and breaths. By practicing stretching with breathing as a combination, we’re training our bodies to associate the two with one another so that it becomes intrinsic for us.


Ah, meditation. It’s like nap time, but you’re awake! For children who are younger, it’s easy for the mind to bounce around and can sometimes be difficult for them to calmly rest in silence – guided meditations can be read aloud to encourage a focal point and less anxiousness.

Milky Way Farm Field Trip | Show ‘N Tell School

Milky Way Farm Field Trip | Show ‘N Tell School


On June 16, 2017 the Show ‘N Tell School students headed to Milky Way Farm in Chester Springs to see what farm life is all about.

Owned by the same family for four generations, the farm is both a home and a destination. Situated on over 100 acres of land, the farm got its name back in 1947 when the farmer looked up at the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and thought it’d be a fitting name for the dairy barn as well.

Our day could hardly get started without getting to know the animals that live there, right? We saw cows, sheep, chickens, pigs and even farm cats! While we were there, we had a chance to take a hayride, learn about all of the jobs of the animals on the farm and even taste some of the ice cream that the cows there help to make. Fun fact: most of the milk from their cows actually goes to the Land O’ Lakes Cooperative to be processed into various dairy products.

After our hayride and tour of the farm, we walked down to the creamery to have lunch before heading back to our school.

We learned so many fun farm facts on our visit, be sure to ask your little ones about them to encourage story sharing from the trip!

  • The average cow on the farm can produce 8-12 gallons of milk per day
  • The chickens on the farm lay one (1) egg each for all but one day out of the week (they take that day to rest!)
  • Cats on the farm have an important job, and that’s to keep the mice population down to a minimum
  • Ducks, pigs, and chickens don’t sweat so they manage to cool down in other ways such as digging and laying in the dirt (chickens/pigs) and swimming (ducks)

Interested in visiting the Chester Springs Creamery this season?

Summer Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00PM to 9:00PM

Water Day’s Return to the Show ‘N Tell Schools

Water Day’s Return to the Show ‘N Tell Schools


This week, both of our Show ‘N Tell Schools (in Paoli and West Chester) will kick-off the beloved summer tradition of Water Day!

What you need to pack:

  • A full change of clothes (including socks and shoes)
  • Swim Diaper (if your child wears diapers)
    • Please do not send your child to school with the swim diaper already on. We need to be able to put a fresh swim diaper on them prior to the water day activities commencing to ensure that they aren’t getting into the water with a dirty diaper.
  • Towel
  • Swim shoes/sandals (not necessary though).
  • Sunscreen
    • Please send your child to school with sunscreen on already. Sunscreen may be reapplied during the water day activities.
  • WEST CHESTER: A non-heat lunch

We look forward to all of the fun we’ll have this season with our Water Day’s! Stay tuned for pictures 🙂


Sun Protection for Children | Show ‘N Tell School

Sun Protection for Children | Show ‘N Tell School

With the sun peeking out more and the days getting warmer, we continue to ask all of our parents to send their children to school with sunscreen on. For adults, sunburn and poisoning can be annoying and painful, but for young children it can be threatening and cause serious illness. Keeping children indoors isn’t the solution to this problem, and so we’re sharing ways to encourage sun safety in your little ones.


  • Shade: Shade is key, especially for infants. Taking a walk? Make sure that the umbrella on your stroller is covering them. Sitting outdoors? Aim for a covered pavilion or awning to keep your infant out of direct sunlight. A spot often overlooked is the car – make sure that in the warmer months, your baby is positioned in the middle of the back ,away from the side windows. A UV-blocking film that can be applied to any windows is also a great tool to have in the car, without reducing visibility.
  • Sunscreen: The use of sunscreen on children under 6 months old is actually not recommended (unless the only ingredient is zinc oxide), it’s best to just keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Clothing: Sun-safe clothing is important for babies too, such as sunglasses and wide hats that will cover their ears and necks.


  • Sunscreen: It’s always important to put on sunscreen, even if the sun doesn’t feel all that hot. Remember the acronym BEENS (Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, Scalp). Reapply every two hours, or more if your child has been swimming or running through the sprinkler (even water resistant sunscreen!). Aim for a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, and try to go with as many natural ingredients as possible to avoid irritation on sensitive skin.
  • Clothing: Avoid white – if you can see through it, so can the sun. Go for darker colors in a breathable fabric. Headed to a water park? Search for a swim shirt with a UV protection built in (it’ll at least last a couple of visits).

Treating Sunburn

  • Aloe gel should be applied to sunburnt skin. If you can place it in a fridge for a few minutes prior to use, it’ll feel better.
  • Ibuprofen (check with your doctor to see what the recommended amount would be).
  • Fluids!! For children, dehydration is an even scarier and more urgent issue when they play in the sun so make sure to keep them hydrated throughout the day and especially if they’ve gotten a burn.