Immersing into The Child Life Field Through an International Practicum with Child Life United

As the child life profession expands into new settings, roles, and communities, it is also hitting a few roadblocks. Currently there is a surplus of excited students eager to start their career as a Certified Child Life Specialist, but they are finding it extremely challenging to obtain an internship spot because there just aren’t enough available. Some child life sites are also requiring a child life practicum to be completed before they will consider a candidate for their internship program. It’s another bump in the road for students.

So some students are going the route of fulfilling a practicum to gain knowledge and experience that will hopefully help advance them.

I’m thrilled to introduce a unique type of child life practicum from Child life United.

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Guest Blogger, Courtney Moreland, Founder and Director of Child Life United

Child Life United has partnered with organizations all over the world to offer aspiring child life specialists’ international practicums. All Child Life United practicums will follow the Recommended Standards as set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

The child life practicum is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of Certified Child Life Specialists, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of basic child life skills related to play, developmental assessment, and integration of child life theory into interventions with infants, children, youth and families. Child life practicum students will increase their comfort level by interacting with infants, children, youth, and families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or in programs designed for special needs populations.  Through these experiences, child life practicum students will enhance their knowledge of the child life profession and investigate the process of applying child life and developmental theory to practice.

Click here to apply for a future abroad practicum.

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Child Life United just completed a practicum in the Philippines. It provided five child life students an educational experience in three different cities. Here is what they have to say about it,

“I have learned and gained so much this international practicum. I have been exposed to the reality in which people live through my interactions with children and parents. I have realized that the practice of child life is more than guidelines from textbooks or theories. It involves being present and supportive, not only for the children, but for the parents who are essentially going through the worst times of their lives.” Jasmine M.

“Playing with children who spoke limited to no English was challenging at first, but gradually I learned how to communicate and understand what they wanted just by listening and observing their body language. I am still in awe of how many children I saw during my travel (hospital patients, well sheltered, street children) and getting a small peep hole look into what their lifestyle looks like from the outside in.” Michele F.

Child Life United also offers remote internship supervision, program development, consulting, and international volunteering.

Click here to learn more about Child Life United and be sure to follow on Facebook, and Instagram.

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Family Winter Vacations: 5 Fun Ideas to Escape the Cold

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Guest Blogger, Lizzie Weakley

Beating the cold weather months can be done by taking a holiday trip to a sunny destination. Exciting venues are offered all over the United States that feature family-friendly activities and premium outdoor adventures. For people who love warm water and warm rays, taking a winter trip to a tropical location is just the right remedy for the winter temperatures.

Experience Year-Round Sunshine in Beautiful Hawaii

Tropical beaches and beautiful mountain ranges in Hawaii beckon to people who love to have fun in the sun. This state has five primary islands, and it also is home to some of the nation’s best golf courses and sightseeing adventures. Helicopter and boat tours make it possible for visitors to take in Hawaii’s most famous landmarks, and there’s a multitude of dining and resort options available.

Visit Warm and Thrilling Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, FL is among one of the warmest vacation destinations for the United States in the winter months. People who love watersports, jet skis, and swimming with the dolphins will find this is an ideal destination for a holiday trip. Parasailing adventures and boat rentals may be found at FUNPCB while Pier Park provides beautiful walkways and shopping and culinary delights.

San Diego Offers Something for the Entire Family

Averaging in the high 60 temperatures, San Diego provides for comfortable weather and a multitude of things to do during the cold months. The San Diego Zoo offers a safari park, an animal conservancy, and features thousands of exotic creatures. The beaches of this city also are great for mingling with the locals, taking time to surf, or to explore the rambling Riverwalk.

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf Is a Memorable Experience

One of California’s most celebrated waterfronts, San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is filled with fun and interesting options. This is a photographer lover’s dream and a romantic area for couples to visit. The Wharf is filled with culture, music, food, sights and sounds, and pier-side hotels.

Consider Winter Rentals at Padre Island, Texas

Soaking up the sun is easy to do in warm and breezy Padre Island, TX. This is becoming an increasingly popular destination for September through March as people seek to escape the winter weather. This destination features nature trails, sea turtle conservation programs, boating opportunities, and the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

Getting away from the freezing temperatures can be a fun way to spend a holiday or to take a trip while the kids are on school break. With numerous sunny destinations available, choosing the right location is all that is left to do.

Make Your Road Trip Family Friendly: 7 Step Guide

7 Tips for Traveling with Kids

Guest Blogger, Jonathon 

Whether you’re hitting the road or soaring in the not-so-cordial skies, the probable hassles are plentiful. Regrettably, we can’t bring gas prices down, promise you extra space on the airplane, or make your finicky, bored child suddenly fascinated by the scenery. But we can equip you with funky ideas, survival tactics, and practical guidance to lend a hand in your planning to make your tour half the fun.

These ideas will work for kids of all ages- some are apparently better-suited to juveniles or bigger kids, so pick what works best for you and your itinerant companions.

Here are seven boredom-ousting family-friendly road trip ideas that cover everything from what to observe, local eats and where to crash!

1. Packing strategy

Don’t just stow every item, pack everything but in small quantity for uncomplicated access on the road so you wouldn’t have to excavate around in baggage. Don’t forget to keep mosquito repellents – in a paper bag in the car’s cabin. If you’re going to a temperate climate, keep swimsuits and towels in a beach bag – you never know when you might trip up on an enormous swimming hole.

2.  Choose your music shrewdly

Great music and road trips go so well together also making the hours go by much more rapidly. Choose music that everyone can enjoy. Perhaps select a soundtrack from a dearly-loved movie or some catching retro tunes.

A car with a steady sound system helps too.

3.  Prepare for pit stops

Regardless of how well prepared you are or how keen on getting to your destination well before bed time, you’ll have to halt along the way. The exquisiteness of a road trip is you can pull over anytime and get out wherever you fancy.

If it’s a family tour that involves traveling with toddlers and younger kids, try to avoid driving for longer durations in one stretch. Expecting kids to sit immobile for much longer is pretty unworkable.

4.  Pack lots of snacks

Keep abundant of beverages and snacks on hand. Foodstuff that can survive traveling well includes bagels, pretzels, granola bars, and cereal. Bring an insulated container for string cheese, tubes of yogurt, and other prone to decay provisions.

Expert’s Tip: Nuts and dried fruit and spill proof, sippy cups for smaller kids. Fresh fruit and juice cans can cause the mess.

5. Entertainment

Keep your children entertained with activities such as songs, stories, and jokes. Toddlers are crazy about sticky label books. If older kids are accompanying you, try audio books, stories or they too can be kept entertained with games. You can get travel adaptations of many that are all the rage, from Battleship to Scrabble. Be sure to choose the versions for car trips which have pieces that slide or attach by magnets. A travel journal can keep kids busy and capture memories of your family trip. Give each child a notebook and washable crayons or markers.

6.  Play some movies

Talking about keeping kids entertained and not watching movies while journeying, something’s definitely off! Use an iPad or moveable DVD player if you don’t have en suite screens in the car.

7.  Make them giggle

Lay your hands on a few manuscripts of jokes and consent to children taking turns telling them. Chuckle along with the kids on a few punch lines!

Here our valuable suggestions come to a stop. In the end, we only hope that you travel safely and soundly with your kids, as, safety is above all.

Happy traveling!!!

Author Bio:

Jonathon is an IT expert and a researcher. He is obsessed with cars and all the digital accessories. He regularly posts at

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