As any dance parent knows, the grand finale of a year of dance classes is the much-anticipated recital. The kids practice all year for this grand event, and next to the dancing, the best part of the show is the enchanting costumes the young performers wear. Usually custom-made, these garments can cost parents a significant sum of money. It therefore seems such a shame that they are often worn once and then tucked away in the closet. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives to allowing these garments to waste away in storage.
Create a Beautiful Keepsake
If you have a young dancer, a great idea is to mount the costume in a shadow box. Buy a three-dimensional framed box and pin the costume inside. Add the professional photos that are normally taken for the recital, add the ticket stubs from the auditorium, and you have created a keepsake that both you and your child will treasure forever. You can even add an inspirational quote or poem about dancing for a little extra touch.
Donate En Masse
Not every child is lucky enough to take dance lesson from a studio. Many less fortunate kids attend local boys’ and girls’ clubs for their lessons. The classes are often free, the instructors are volunteers and the parents do not have the means to pay for fancy costumes. So why not get the other dance moms from your child’s class together and pass on all the costumes as a set. You child will learn about generosity, and the children at the local club will feel like superstars. You may even want to talk to the studio director to see if other class levels would be interested in donating as well.
Sew up Some Memories
If your daughter (or son) is a long time dancer and you have an abundance of old costumes in the closet, why not turn them into a meaningful gift? Cut patches from each costume and make them into a beautiful and memorable quilt. What young adult would not be thrilled with magical pieces of her childhood brought together in this forever gift? If you do not have enough costumes to make the quilt, you could include the old scout uniform, a sports team jersey, or any other old clothes that were favorites of your child. If you are all thumbs with a needle and thread, there is no need to despair; there are many church groups and local craftspeople that will create a quilt for you for a fee.
There are so many ways to save that lovely costume from a lifetime of storage, and these terrific ideas are a great place to start. At the very least, pass the garment down to a younger sibling or cousin for playing make-believe, or dress-up a favorite large stuffed animal to make a one of a kind toy.
Talk to a dance company like Legacy Of Dance Academy for more ideas on what to do with those used costumes.Learn More
Cloth diapers are better for baby and for the environment, but many working mothers think they aren’t an option because of daycare rules. The good news is that cloth diapers are allowed in all Canadian provinces for daycare use.
The trick is finding a daycare that allows them or helping your current center come up with a policy so you can use them with your child.
Tip #1: Meet With the Director
The daycare director is the final word on whether or not you can use cloth diapers. Set up a meeting with the director to broach the subject if the center doesn’t already have a policy in place. Be prepared by bringing a few essentials with you:
An example of the cloth diaper you will be using.
A wet bag for storing the used diapers in.
Tip #2: Choose Easy-to-Use Diapers
Regardless of the type of diapers you prefer for home use, in the daycare it’s best to provide all-in-one diapers. Choose a type that secures with velcro or snaps. Your daycare center is more likely to allow cloth if they are as simple to use as disposable, so skip diaper pins and diapers that require careful folding.
Tip #3: Point Out the Benefits for the Center
If your center provides disposable diapers as part of the included cost of care, point out that you will not be asking for a discount even though you won’t be taking advantage of this offer.
The biggest advantage for the center is that they will be generating less trash, which means smaller garbage disposal fees. Stay positive and upbeat when explaining the benefits to the center.
Tip #4: Meet the Center Half Way
Although it’s common practice at home to reuse waterproof diaper covers, don’t expect this to be the norm at the daycare center. Be prepared to provide plenty of diapers and covers for your child so they can change both. Make sure you collect your wet bag each day and bring a clean one every day.
If the center already has a policy in place, you may need to purchase new cloth diapers that match what their policy allows. If your center seems hesitant, request a three week trial period. Cloth diapers have a bad rap, so a trial period is the best way to show they aren’t much more trouble than disposables. Being flexible makes it more likely that your cloth diapering request will be honored.
If your daycare isn’t quite ready to make the plunge into cloth diapering, you have two choices. You can find a new center that will, or you can allow disposables at day care while continuing to use cloth at home. With patience, kindness and education, many centers will work to meet your request. To learn more, contact a company such as Brant Children’s Centre for more help.Learn More
Continuing education courses for adults have become increasingly popular. Designed to improve the credentials and effectiveness of people already in the workforce, adult education programs are offered in various settings. There are four main venues through which adult classes are offered in order to help you boost your career, no matter what your needs are.
1. Look for Online Programs
Taking online courses is a popular way for adults to learn a new skill or get certified in a particular field. Available worldwide, online courses tend to be cost-effective and flexible, allowing working adults to pursue their studies while still working full-time. Some employers even sponsor employees’ online educational pursuits. If you need to pass a particular certification exam for career purposes for instance, your employer may pay for an online program to help you study.
When considering an online course, be sure to check that:
2. Contact Local Colleges
Many colleges have begun to offer adult education programs as the demand for courses has risen. Contact local colleges to find out if there are any programs that are relevant to your field. Some colleges will only offer adult graduate courses that require you to have a degree already. Others may have courses specifically designed for people in the workforce simply looking to improve their current, practical credentials.
3. Learn About Public School Courses for Adults
If you are hoping to obtain a high school level diploma or to complete a very specific skills-based program, then you should contact local public schools. Many public schools offer courses for adults who want to get their general education development diploma (GED). Public schools sometimes offer practical skills programs that adults can participate in, like basic business, computer, or financial courses. Such programs are usually offered for free or for a small fee and result in a certificate proving that you have obtained specific skills.
4. Check Out Your Community Center’s Educational Listings
Although not as official as an online program or as courses offered by a college or school, many community centers offer educational programs and exercises that may help you to improve your skills. At a local community center, you may find classified advertisements offering to teach individuals a new language or Microsoft Office.
The community center itself may also offer one-time or recurring classes for such basic skills. While you are unlikely to earn an official certificate from such programs, your ability to perform at work can improved in such courses.Learn More