Stay Sunny With These Crafts

Summer is finally here! While days spent at the beach, the springs, or just playing in the backyard are great, Florida’s summers tend to be quite hot, meaning that outdoor plans don’t always work out — you and your children may get stuck indoors. But don’t worry, because these fun, simple crafts are perfect for some sunny education on hot summer days!

Create a Paper Plate Sundial

To teach your children about old-fashioned clocks, you need a paper plate, craft stick, ruler, hot glue gun, and markers. First, use your favorite colored markers to draw and color an image on the plate. This will be the clock’s background. Then, use the ruler to find the exact center of the plate and mark it with an X. Use the hot glue gun to glue the craft stick vertically to the X — make sure to hold the craft stick still for a good 30 seconds to guarantee it’ll stay. Finally, mark the hours 1 through 12 on the rim of the plate. Place it in the sun and enjoy your handmade sundial! If you need a guide on how to read it, take a look here.

Use the Sun to Paint Pictures

If you told your children that the sun can paint pictures, would they believe it? You can show them yourself! Gather a few small, plastic items that won’t fly away easily in the wind, such as toys, cookie cutters, or plastic scissors. Tape a piece of black construction paper onto a baking pan, then arrange the items onto the paper. Help your child mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with ½ cup of water and spray it onto the items. Place the pan in direct sunlight, then return a few hours later to remove the items from the paper — your child will be excited to find that the sun has created a bleached shadow of the items!

Trace Pictures with Shadows

You and your child can try this new way to create outlines for drawings. Collect a few small toys that would cast a fun shadow, then set them in the sun. Place a white sheet of paper in line with the shadow, then use a crayon or marker to trace the outline of the shadow. Now, use your favorite colors to fill in the shadow outline!

Here at St. Charles Borromeo, we hope that you and your children enjoy your summer — and these crafts! And if you’re getting ready to enroll your child in an Orlando private school in the fall, consider visiting us. We balance both faith and education in our curriculum to give children the foundation they need to grow into responsible, reliable adults.

Graduation: The Best Memories Guide

It’s almost time for graduation! As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo will miss our graduating classes, but we’re proud of our students’ accomplishments this year and excited about their bright futures. No matter their age, graduation is the perfect time to capture memories, so take a look at some of our favorite momentos below.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

This class is growing up fast! You can capture their youth by creating a simple DIY craft with their handprint. To make a salt dough ornament, combine one cup of salt with one cup of flour in a bowl, mix in ½ cup water, and knead the dough. Press it into a circle and put a little paint on your child’s hand. Then, press it into the dough. Remember to punch a hole into it to thread ribbon through before leaving it out to dry.

You can also make a keychain! Paint your child’s hand with a gloss-finish acrylic craft paint, then gently press their hand onto Shrinky Dink plastic. Once the paint dries completely, use a Sharpie to add their name to the opposite side. After that dries, cut out the handprint, punch a hole in the plastic, and bake it in the oven for 2-3 minutes until it’s flat. Afterward, use small pliers to loop a keyring into the hole. Now, you have a memory you can take with you anywhere!

Another option is to decorate a dish towel. Place a white dishcloth onto cardboard or newspaper, paint your child’s hand with fabric paint, and press their hand to the fabric. Let it dry for 24 hours, then heat set it by ironing the opposite side or by putting the fabric into the dryer for an hour. Make sure to leave it alone for another day or two before washing.

Now that you have a small decoration, you can also create a snapshot of their personality by having them write an “about me.” Think of it as a small letter to their future self, sharing their dream career, favorite food, favorite hobby, and more.

8th Graders

Want to capture memories and get excited about high school? Have a photo day! Get your child together with their best friends and take pictures with them donning their future high school colors. Then, plan a day for your child and their friends to scrapbook together with the photos you took, as well as any others they want to include.

This may also be a good time to revisit that “about me” to see how much has changed — or stayed the same! Ask them to write a new one to revisit when they graduate high school and suggest that they store it inside their scrapbook.

High School Seniors

High school is almost over and it’s time for another picture day! Gather your child and their friends, have them wear their university colors, and take pictures in their favorite spots on campus and around town. And of course, pull out those old “about me” letters or DIY handprint crafts as a reminder of how much they’ve grown. For a humorous momento, recreate their childhood photos, paying special attention to poses, clothing, and facial expressions!

We wish our graduating classes good luck in all their future endeavors — we can’t wait for you to come back and visit us to tell us all about them! And if your graduating little one is looking for a new Orlando Catholic school, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We mix faith and education to give children strong stepping stones for a successful future.

Dad’s Guide to Mother’s Day

Calling all dads: Mother’s Day is just around the corner! St. Charles Borromeo, a College Park private school, believes it’s important to recognize mothers for all their love and hard work, but it can be challenging to decide just how to celebrate her. If you’re not sure what to do this Mother’s Day, we have a few ideas from moms on how they love to spend the holiday!

Schedule a DIY Day With Your Children

Want to gift something unique on Mother’s Day? Consider setting aside some time with your children to create a secret, homemade gift. It could be anything from a handmade card, a decorated frame with a family picture, or a new ornament. The time and thoughtfulness put into the gift will make her smile, and the time you spend with the kids will give her some time to relax with a book, at the nail salon with friends, or by the pool!

Prepare a Home-Cooked Meal

Ready to plan a romantic night in? Ask your parents, a neighbor, or a babysitter to take care of the children for the evening. Light a few candles, prepare her favorite recipe, and put some old classics on the radio. She’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into choosing her favorite meal and the time you spent cooking it, and you’ll both benefit from time where you don’t have to worry about your children!

Be Creative With Flowers

Roses remain a beautiful classic, but why not get creative with this long-standing tradition? Check out bouquets and see what else is available. For example, a blend of flowers that make use of her favorite colors can put a surprising, enjoyable spin on this gift! Take this gift the extra mile and help your children decorate a plain white vase beforehand.

Start Her Day With a Bath

Mothers enjoy time with their family, but they need time to themselves as well! Help her start her day on the right note by drawing a warm bubble bath, turning on soothing music, and giving her time for much-needed rest and relaxation. While she relaxes, play with the children and prepare the DIY craft to give to her later that day.

We hope that you have a great Mother’s Day this year! Just a little bit of effort to help mothers relax is highly appreciated, whether it’s Mother’s Day or not. And if you’re currently helping Mom find a perfect College Park private school for the kids this upcoming school year, why not visit us at St. Charles Borromeo? We prioritize both faith and education to help give children a strong foundation for becoming responsible, respectable adults. You can find out more about our curriculum on our about us page.

Mix It Up With Water Balloons

Winter is over and the Central Florida heat is about to be in full swing; the days are quickly coming where it’s too hot to do anything outside that doesn’t involve water. So what better way to cool off than with water balloons? Check out these creative ideas for how you and your children can play with water balloons this summer.

Water Balloon Race

Take a trip to your local dollar store and stock up on wooden spoons and small balloons. At home or the park, determine a starting line and a finishing line for your race. Fill the balloons with water, distribute a spoon to each contestant, and help each child carefully balance the water balloon on the spoon. The challenge is to see who can cross the finishing line first—without dropping their balloon.

If you want an extra art component, grab some paints and brushes. Each person racing can have fun decorating their own unique spoon to race with!

Balloon Toss

Instead of simply throwing balloons at each other, create a target. Get chalk, clear off a bit of space in your driveway, and draw a series of rings in varying sizes. Assign a point value to each ring, with the smallest ring being worth the most. Now, pick up those water balloons and let them fly! For extra difficulty, add in obstacles or rules like having to spin three times before throwing the water balloon. Have fun seeing who can collect the most points.

Ice Eggs

This one is perfect for those days that are too hot to step outside. Put a small toy inside a balloon, fill the balloon with water, tie it off, and then stick it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, carefully cut away the balloon from the frozen water. Enjoy the beauty of your freshly-created ice egg fossil! Have a contest to who can melt it the fastest or slowest, or just let it cool you off.

Water Balloon Hunt

Fill up water balloons and hide them around your yard. Then, see how long it takes your kids to track them down… and how much longer it takes them to start throwing their newly found treasure.
We hope you and your family stay cool this summer! Drink lots of water, enjoy throwing some water balloons, and remember to visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. As a Catholic school in Orlando, we want our students to work hard, play hard, and pray hard—especially over the summer. And if you’re looking for a school that values both academics and spirituality, please consider visiting us. You can learn more about what we offer on our about us page.

Spend Earth Day at the Zoo

A trip to the zoo means more than a fun day with animals—it’s packed full of chances to learn about God’s world. Earth Day is a great opportunity to learn about our roles as caretakers of His creation, and what better place to do that than at your local zoo? Check out the reasons that you and your children should spend some quality time together at the zoo this upcoming Earth Day.

Why Learn About Zoo Animals?

God created everything on this Earth and as stewards, we must do our best to protect it. But seeing as we lose at least 10,000 species each year, it’s important for children to visit the zoo and develop a passion for animal and wildlife conservation. The zoo is a great place to learn about conservation projects, and it can also help them learn little ways to save the planet in their daily lives.

Before you plan your trip, take time to talk to your children about things they should pay attention to or ask questions about. While they might be excited about seeing their favorite animals in person, giving them focus points helps them understand the bigger picture.

Learn About Animal Families

Children can see the joys of the family unit He created within their own home, but are they aware that this family unit is also displayed in other animals? Children can see family values in some of the animals they may come across, such as with elephants. Talk to them about how these animals take care of their kids and ask them what they notice and relate to about these animal families.

Study Animal Habitats

Everyone needs certain conditions to live, and God designed animals to fit perfectly within their respective habitats. As you progress through the zoo, note how the habitat changes with each species. Children can begin to learn His design by seeing how certain environment can create an ideal living situation for each animal.

Remember to Stay Positive

Jumping straight to discussing extinction can be scary, especially for young or sensitive children. Instead, keep your questions and discussions focused on the positive; however, don’t discourage a developing passion if your child begins to ask deeper questions. Continue to focus on the beauty of nature and how your children play an important role in keeping it beautiful. They can begin to respect His creation by seeing the beauty of wild animals and their environment.

By combining understanding with respect, children can start taking steps to being a true steward, as He asks. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, also cultivates an environment where children can learn to be respectful of the environment and those around them—a trait that will last them into their adult life. You can learn more about how we incorporate values into our education here.

Spend Time With Your Family This Easter Break

Easter break is a wonderful time to relax and celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. As a College Park private school, St. Charles Borromeo understands how important it is to make time for your family, especially around Easter! Take a look below at some of our favorite activities that you and your family can do together this break.

Family Game Night

You can never go wrong with classic favorites like Monopoly, Sorry!, and Trouble. You can even throw a little spin on a classic like UNO by turning it into Spicy UNO. If all you have are a deck of cards, you can start a small Spoons tournament! No matter what you choose to play, family game nights are a great opportunity to spur some friendly competition and create unforgettable memories.

Craft Party

Arts and crafts help exercise your child’s creativity and self-confidence. Try picking up a crafts kit at a local bookstore, or check online for messy DIY ideas like polka dot slime or rainbow bubbles. You could even throw in a little bit of science into your craft day with these homemade bookmarks! Final products can be used as household decorations or as homemade gifts.

Bring Books to Life

Whether or not your kids are bookworms, it’s easy to transform a family-friendly book into a captivating performance. Have the parents take turns playing narrator. Then assign your children roles, making sure to give them plenty of props, costumes, and time to get in character. As you read the book, have your children act out what their character is doing, and repeat or summarize the lines their character says. Encourage creativity, ad-libbing, and humor! This is a great way to make the Bible memorable and relatable, so make sure to use favorite Bible story as well.

Volunteer Together

Look into local organizations to see where you and your family can pitch in, such as food pantries, senior rehabilitation centers, or places that your church has partnered with in the past. Volunteering can help create stronger bonds between family members while helping your children practice empathy, gain self-confidence, and learn that they can make a difference in the world.

We hope that you have some fresh new ideas and that you enjoy spending time with your family this Easter break! And if you’re looking for a College Park private school that offers faith-based education, including the significance of Easter, come visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more about our curriculum on our about us page.

Pray Like the Pope

If there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s the importance of prayer, especially around Easter. Taking moments out of our day to pray helps us be thankful for all that He has given us, and allows us time to reflect and consider opportunities where we can bless others. Easter is a great time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus by praying Pope Francis’ nightly prayer.

First, begin by recounting everything from your day and continually ask yourself this question: “If I had stopped to slow down, where would I have seen God today?” This will help you give your prayer some depth and direction.

Once you have taken some time to talk to God and center your mind, try ending with this short, favorite prayer of Pope Francis: “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Afterward, Pope Francis says he prays five Our Fathers, one for each of the wounds of Christ because Jesus cleansed us with His wounds.

You can begin to slowly incorporate this into your children’s nighttime prayers. Toward the end of their prayer, add, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Build on this over time, adding an Our Father every night until your child is able to recite all five.

Then, take time to talk to your children about the power of prayer and why the Pope’s prayer is important. Explain what it means to be made clean and how it relates to what Jesus did for us on Easter. Ask why someone may pray this at the end of the day, making sure you give your children plenty of time to reflect, ask questions, and offer their own insight. As the days progress, discuss the meaning of the five Our Fathers and answer any questions about their meaning. If your children are visual learners, it may help to have a crucifix nearby to help them focus and understand!

At St. Charles Borromeo, we incorporate prayer into our daily curriculum. We pride ourselves on creating an environment where students can work hard, play hard, and pray hard. If you’re currently looking for an Orlando Catholic school that prioritizes both education and spirituality, please consider visiting us. We cultivate a community where children can gain the strong foundation they need to grow into responsible adults who love and follow Him.

The Importance of Community Service

Every summer, my church’s youth group has a local mission trip. Almost 100 teenagers from ages 12-18 sleep in the youth building from Monday through Friday, going out to volunteer at food banks, sort recycled soaps and discarded hygiene products, and do yard work for the elderly.

And you know what? Spots fill up almost immediately. This year, it took a record-breaking 5 minutes.

The students thrive on community service. They love helping and connecting with people, sometimes seeing the fruits of their labor, and sometimes knowing they will never see them.

There are many long-term benefits of children participating in and learning how to love community service. Take a look at just a few below.

Opportunity for Quality Family Time

Volunteering together creates opportunities to bond as a family. You can sit down together and share your experiences, discuss what you’ve learned, and brainstorm how to implement these lessons into your daily lives.

Future Success

Community service sets children up to become selfless, service-driven adults through learning empathy and the importance of caring for others. They discover passions they may have never known, such as removing plastic from the ocean or bringing clean water to impoverished countries, and they can build on that passion as they grow. Furthermore, they develop responsibility and commitment. These skills can be applied to friendships, education, and future careers.

Greater Sense of Self-Worth

In an age where so many people judge their self-worth based on the number of Instagram likes, it may seem difficult to teach children how to self-confidence. Volunteering can help. When children actively participate in community service, they learn that it doesn’t matter how young or small they may feel—they have the ability to change someone else’s life for the better. Community service increases a child’s confidence.

When children and youth volunteer, it benefits both them and the world around them. And if you’re looking for a Catholic school in Orlando where your children can be around others who believe in volunteer work, come visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more about our curriculum and beliefs on our about us page.

What Should I Give Up For Lent?

Lent is right around the corner. It’s a time for us to reflect on God’s sacrifice, sacrifice something of our own, and prepare our hearts to celebrate Easter. However, it can be difficult to decide what to give up—and what to encourage our children to give up. If you’re having trouble making this decision, take a look at these ideas.

Needs Vs. Wants

Instead of giving up a specific thing, consider the many things we buy that we don’t actually need. Throughout Lent, be picky about what you spend your money on, and help your children distinguish between what they want and what they need. Put aside the money you would have spent on “wants.” After Easter, you can donate that money to the organization of your family’s choice.

Avoid Negativity

Even the most positive people can spread negativity if they don’t actively watch what they say. Carefully watch how you speak about others. Avoid gossip, and if you’re tempted to say something judgmental, give a compliment instead.

Focus on Others

Get involved with a local food bank, implement eco-friendly practices, or volunteer at your church’s youth group. You and your kids can spend time with your church’s seniors and take them to breakfast, help them around the house, or drive them to the grocery store. During your prayer time, ask God to break your heart for what breaks His. This is a great time to teach your children about compassion, generosity, and selflessness.

Replace TV time with Prayer Time

The time we spend in front of the screen can easily get away from us. Instead of watching another episode, spend time with your family in prayer, read Bible stories to your children, or take time for your personal relationship with God through journaling or devotionals.

Goodbye, Soda

If you and your children drink soda often, replace it with water over Lent—you’ll feel healthier and more hydrated by Easter. If you tire easily of water, throw in different fruit combinations to give it a different taste.

We hope that you have some fresh new ideas on what you and your children can give up for Lent this year. And if you’re looking to enroll your kids in an Orlando Catholic school that observes these holidays as a community, consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more about our community on our about us page.

St. Charles Borromeo Celebrates Faculty & Staff For Catholic Schools Week

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2018 is just around the corner! On January 28th through February 3rd, St. Charles Borromeo would like to take time to celebrate the brilliant, faith-filled community that works so diligently to create a wonderful learning environment for our students. As an Orlando Catholic school, we would especially like to take time to thank our faculty and staff. Unsure of ways you can help show appreciation for our faculty during this festive week? Here are a few ideas.

Build a Treat Basket

Handmade gifts are fun for kids to craft, and they’re always highly appreciated by the receiver! Find a small basket to fill with treats, and then break out the arts and crafts materials. Have fun coloring and decorating the basket—and maybe pack a note or two saying thanks. We’re sure it will put a smile on a faculty member’s face.

Create Recognition Signs

If your kids love arts and crafts but don’t want to work with a basket, consider making a recognition sign. This sign, decorated with arts and notes, can be hung on a teacher’s door as a personal thank you. It may also be a fun group craft idea, if your child and their friends want to combine their thank you messages on one sign.

Be a Parent Volunteer

Do you have some spare time during CSW? Being a parent volunteer can be an excellent way to help show appreciation for St. Charles Borromeo’s faculty and staff. Volunteering in the classroom during CSW can free up some time for faculty to enjoy a meal together and build greater bonds as a team.

We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how to celebrate the St. Charles Borromeo community during CSW!. As an Orlando Catholic school, we appreciate our faculty and staff for the time they spend making our school a great place to learn—and we appreciate our volunteers and students for everything they contribute to our faith-filled community! And if you’re currently looking for a Catholic school that prioritizes a student’s academic and spiritual growth, please visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more our curriculum and community on our about us page.