What are some activities that help develop fine motor skills in young children?

Peeling and placing stickers. Sticker books are great for this - we like the "paint by sticker" series, though it may be a little challenging for some little ones. My 4-year-old is awesome at it, but my 6-year-old (whose fine motor skills definitely need work) struggles a bit. I also really like the Phidal line of reusable sticker books - the quality is such that they truly are reusable!

Dot art with Q-tips. I like to reinforce letter and number recognition with this activity, too, by outlining a letter or number for him to paint by "dotting" the inside with a q-tip dipped in washable paint.

Exciting First Day of School Traditions?

First day of school photos on our front steps, and couple more in front of the school too.

My husband and I will usually take the day off work (when we can) so we can be there for drop off and pick up on the first day, which makes it feel extra special for all of us.

What are your favorite inspirational quotes for kids?

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou

You've always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself. ~Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz

What are some fun animal facts?

The Chinese soft-shell turtle pees from its mouth.

When a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will lose a matching feather on the other wing to keep its balance.

Fun facts for kids that will blow their minds?

The Chinese soft-shelled turtle pees from its mouth.

Honeybees can recognize human faces.

What tips do you have to make the school year go smoothly?

The kids are responsible for getting their backpacks ready before going to bed, and making sure they have all their homework, books, permission slips, etc in there, and that it is zipped up and ready to just grab and go in the morning. We sometimes need to remind them to do this, but as it becomes part of the nighttime routine it gets easier and easier!

My boys pick out their clothes the night before, and always check what the weather will be like to plan for it, as well as if they have gym or not. It makes getting dressed in the morning much easier!