Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - HELOISE Send a money- or time-sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San An­to­nio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

DEAR HELOISE: As a fol­low-up to your col­umn about help­ing ease kids into kinder­garten, here are some more hints:

Call the school to see if you can stop by the class­room with your child a few days be­fore school be­gins. Teach­ers are there to set up dur­ing this time, and you may meet the teacher and look around the class­room.

I also kissed my chil­dren’s palms, so they could hold the kiss in case they needed it dur­ing the day. All three of my kids said they used the kiss! (They are in their 30s now.)

— Nana Ruth, via fax DEAR READER: Nana Ruth, won­der­ful! Here are even more hints to get kids ready for kinder­garten. Prac­tice with your child so she or he can:

Read some words. Iden­tify shapes.

Sort items by color. Use scis­sors prop­erly. Lis­ten to and talk about a story.

Name what let­ter a par­tic­u­lar item starts with (“L” for “lamp”).

DEAR HELOISE: When my fa­vorite lip­stick has run its course, I use a strong tooth­pick to reach down and cir­cle the tube, then gen­tly lift out the re­main­ing lip­stick.

I like to use a con­tact-lens case to give the leftover lip­stick new life; it en­ables two col­ors to choose from, or to get a new color by mix­ing them to­gether.

— M.L., Omaha, Neb.

DEAR HELOISE: A fun sum­mer­time project for me in­volves cheap clay terra cotta pots, avail­able any­where. I seal and paint them, and then I plant in them.

There are many plants and ivies that are hardy and easy to grow. I read the in­cluded in­struc­tions, make sure the soil is rich, gen­tly break apart the roots when trans­plant­ing and wa­ter the plants cor­rectly.

I like to add pretty rocks, shells, mar­bles or moss on top of the soil. They make the plants pret­tier.

I talk to my plants, too. I think it helps them grow — pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tion!

— Julie W., Devine, Texas DEAR READER: Julie, you’ve got a green thumb. There is some re­search to sug­gest that vi­bra­tion may ben­e­fit plant growth, and sound is es­sen­tially vi­bra­tion, so talk­ing to your plants may help them.

Ul­ti­mately, wa­ter, light and good soil are the best tools for growth for your plants.

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