Click to read—> “The Great Outdoors”

Click to read—> “The Great Outdoors”

The outdoor life is an important factor for your child’s development. Exposing your child to what the outdoors has to offer can benefit your child greatly and it is important to give your child these experiences early on in their life. By providing nature and outdoor experiences to your child early in their life, it can help foster their love for the outdoors. Experiencing the nature has many benefits. These benefits include physical fitness, mental health, intellectual development, and social development. With all of the new technologies we have today, more children are playing on tablets instead of being active outside. Unstructured outdoor play is crucial for your child’s health and development. Here are a few ideas to foster your child’s love for the outdoors: Go for a walk Set up a picnic in the backyard Pick flowers Feed the fish at a local park Have a nature scavenger hunt Go for a hike Dig in the dirt Plant flowers Grow a garden Listen for the sounds of nature (birds, crickets, frogs, rain, water flowing) Lay in the grass and look at the sky, clouds, stars, moon, etc. Bring your child outdoors consistently and help them explore the earth and all of the great things it has to offer us! How will you foster your child’s love for the outdoors?   Miss Ciara Older Toddler Teacher   *****************************************ESPAÑOL********************************************   La vida al aire libre es un factor importante para el desarrollo de su hijo. Exponer a su niño a lo que el aire libre tiene que ofrecer puede beneficiar a su niño enormemente y es importante dar a su...
Click to read—> Screen-Free activities for your child!

Click to read—> Screen-Free activities for your child!

Televisions, Tablets, computers, cell phones and video games have become a norm in today’s world. Although all could be good in moderation, too much of these things can start to harm your children. Too much of this technology could interfere with homework, being physically active, socializing, and spending time with family. There are so many different activities to do with your children other than watching movies or playing video games. One screen free activity is going on a nature walk or a scavenger hunt outside. Make a list before going outside with your child. This could include looking for items such as a squirrel, rocks, flowers, stop signs, different letters, and colors. Once you find the item, check it off of your list. The children will have fun looking for the different items and get so excited when they find them! If the weather isn’t nice enough to get outside and enjoy a walk, there are plenty of fun activities to do indoors! One of these includes reading a book that your children enjoys. To make this even better, build an indoor fort with your child and read the book inside the fort! Once the book or books are finished, you could play inside the fort! Also, after reading the book it might be fun to paint or color a picture that goes along with the book. Your child could color their favorite part of the book or their favorite character! Another fun screen free activity is performing science experiments. There are many different experiments for children of all different ages. One simple and fun one that all children love...
Celebrate Earth Day with your child!

Celebrate Earth Day with your child!

Today is  Earth day.and many may be wondering what they can do to teach their children the importance of caring for our World! It is very important to allow School Age Children to become involved in caring for their environments. This provides children with a sense of ownership and belonging to their community which is important for their social and emotional development. There are plenty of fun, educational activities that you can do with your school aged child on Earth Day! For parents interested in enhancing their child’s scientific comprehension abilities an activity such as starting to grow a garden may teach them about life and growing cycles of plants. Other families may want to teach their child more about the physical attributes of our planet. Perhaps on a rainy day naming mountain ranges, bodies of water,or continents on a map may interest you and your child. For families with a sweet tooth, creating earth day cookies may be a great reading and mathematics activity to do with your child! Ask your child to read the recipe, measure the ingredients as instructed, and identify three digit numerals when they preset the oven to bake their delectable earth day cookies! Here is an  fun, very earth mindful, and healthy recipe you can try with your child: Makes: 1 1/2 dozen cookies Ingredients: 2 ripe bananas 1 1/2 cups oats (can substitute gluten-free oats) 1/2 cup peanut butter (can substitute any nut butter) Food coloring blue and green (for earth day cookies) Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, either by hand or using a mixer. Then split the mix...
Click to read –> Music and Development

Click to read –> Music and Development

Music and Development Music can be used as a primary tool in many areas of development in young children. Children learn language skills, mathematical concepts and physical skill through music education. Oh no! Did we just say music education? Music education is not a phrase to be discouraged from. It can be quite easy to incorporate into your daily lives. Singing  Singing promotes early language skills and an understanding of sequence and patterns. Singing songs throughout the day will enhance a child’s ability to use words and phrases. It will also reach parts of the brain that focus on memory, sequencing and patterns. Many parents and teachers feel their lack of knowledge about music will decrease their ability to use it in their child’s daily lives, but it’s as simple as singing well known children’s songs (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Old McDonald Had a Farm, or The Wheels on the Bus). You could also sing as you are completing everyday tasks with your child such as answering the door “Ding dong, the doorbell rang, let’s see who it is!” “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.”  Using musical instruments such as maracas and bells enhances hand-eye coordination and body awareness. As children play fast or slow and listen to high or low sounds, they can develop body coordination by figuring out to play faster or slow to create a sound. Hand-eye coordination is enhanced as the young child lifts up the rhythm instrument and begins to shake it. Get up and dance!  Dancing to music helps promote physical activity and using our large (gross motor) muscles. Moving to music also promotes a...
Ways to promote literacy in Preschoolers.

Ways to promote literacy in Preschoolers.

An early start with literacy skills sets a child up for success in all school subjects. Parents play a role in encouraging an interest in books, but a solid foundation in literacy isn’t about just reading. Verbal and written communication skills also prepare preschoolers for literacy. A well-rounded approach to promoting literacy is important for preschool children. Here are a few things you could do with your preschooler to help encourage literacy. Encourage interaction- when reading to your preschooler, pause every other page to ask questions. Ex: What is going to happen next? Create a literacy-rich environment- Write words next to important items in your home. Label items in your home using written language. If your child sees the word refrigerator on the refrigerator they will eventually learn the word. Do this with various items around your house. Also, provide your preschooler enough access to paper and writing materials, such as pencils and crayons. Take a trip to the library- Introducing your child to different genres of books will help them captivate an interest in books and authors. Talk to your kids a lot- talk and even sing to them about everything. Don’t be afraid to feed into their curiosity. Talk about the characteristics of their bodies (eyes, ears, mouth), and your family history. Remember, studies have shown that exposing your child to a variety of words, even large words helps in their development of literacy skills. Miss Britanny M. & Miss Lan K. Preschool Teachers   Un comienzo temprano a habilidades de literarias preparan a los niños para tener éxito en temas académicos. Los padres toman un papel...
Easter Fun Activities for Young Children.

Easter Fun Activities for Young Children.

As we leave winter behind and say hello to the glorious days of spring. With Easter being right around the corner it is time to start brainstorming crafts and projects to do with your young ones to keep them busy over break. Here are some “egg”cellent indoor and outdoor Easter crafts and activities to complete with them! Hungry Bunny! What you’ll need: Cardboard Box, Construction Paper, Plastic Eggs, Tape, and Scissors Hungry Bunny is a great gross motor activity for children of all ages. Encourage the children to roll the plastic eggs into the bunny’s mouth! You can make it more challenging by taking a step back each time you get an egg into the bunny’s mouth. Have fun creating, decorating, and playing this game together! Easter Stamping! What you’ll need: Plastic Easter Eggs, Paint, Scissors, Pencil, and Bowls Easter Stamping puts a new spin on Easter eggs this season. This crafts reuses materials and teaches children recycling while having fun. Simply encourage your child to dip half of their plastic Easer egg into the paint color of their choice and stamp it onto the paper. Let kids have a blast while choosing different colors as they stamp! Bunny Mask! What you’ll need: Construction Paper, Bunny Mask Template, Scissors, Glue, Cotton Balls, and a pencil With Easter being right around the corner what better time is it to create a bunny mask? This is a great way for children to participate in creating their own dramatic play equipment. All you have to do is trace the template on construction paper and cut it out. Then, encourage your child to...
Ways to promote kindness in Young Children.

Ways to promote kindness in Young Children.

During the month of February, we are recognizing acts of kindness that the children show in the classroom and encouraging them to perform acts of kindness at home too. You may be wondering, “how can I teach my child about kindness and to be kind at such a young age?” There are many ways to teach or promote kindness in young children. One aspect that is very important is for the children to be givers of kindness. Although they are receiving kindness from different people all of the time, being givers of kindness will improve their well-being, feelings of happiness, build friendships and reduce bullying. Children love when they do something nice for someone, no matter how small it may be, such as picking something up that they dropped. Teaching manners at a young age is another way to promote kindness. Even before children can talk, “please” and “thank you” are two of the most used words that babies learn in sign language. When they do start talking, using reminders such as “how do you ask” or “what do you say” will help them to remember to use their manners. When they do use their manners, it is important to praise them for it simply by saying “I’m very happy that you used your manners”. A fun way to promote kindness with your children is doing something fun or simple that will make others happy such as leaving a picture that they colored for the mailman, donating toys or clothes that they no longer play with or fit into or helping make dinner. No matter what you try to...
10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Child

10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Child

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, parents and children are equally excited and want to make of this day the best Valentine’s day ever! We know sometimes planning is not easy with a busy schedule so that is why today we have couple of ideas for you and your child to enjoy this magical day! 1. Have breakfast together. Start your Valentine’s Day off right with a delicious, healthy meal with your child. Let them help you prepare it or set the table! 2. Decorate your house with lots of pink and red hearts. Children love helping! Hang up some decorations around your house to get you and your child in the spirit of love! 3. Have your child pick out a few Valentines Day books to read. Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy this time together. Read as much as you can! 4. Play a Valentine’s day gross motor game! Scatter hearts all over your floor and encourage your child to jump to each heart. Make sure to play along too! 5. Create a Valentine’s Day picture! Cut sponges into heart-shapes and use pink and red paint to create a Valentine’s Day picture full of love with your child. 6. Make shish kabobs with delicious red strawberries and marshmallows. This is a great way for your child to practice fine motor skills by putting each piece of food on the stick with heavy supervision. 7. Make Valentine’s Day cards! Use markers, crayons, paint, or stamp sticks and let your child create a Valentine’s Day masterpiece. 8. Make Valentine’s Day rice crispy treats together! 9. Have a Valentine’s...

Indoor and Outdoor Winter Fun for K-5 Children

As your child enters the elementary school age years they are learning a great deal about the world around them. Winter is a great time to enjoy fun new experiences with your curious child while enriching their education! For those of you who enjoy outdoor activities despite the cold weather that winter brings, there are plenty of great activities you can do in your own backyard! These may include snow tubing, sledding, building a snowman, or creating a snow fort! Activities such as these will encourage your child to get active and engage their gross motor muscles (big muscles like the arms and legs)! For those of you who do not enjoy outdoor activities during the cold winter months, there are still new experiences that you may have with your child this winter season! Perhaps measuring the snowfall in the morning before school and after the day progresses would interest you and your child. This would enhance their understanding of weather phenomena and encourage them to find interest in scientific exploration. Another fun activity your child may enjoy is making their own snow globe. To do this you would only need a mason jar, glycerin, water, and any items you would like to put inside your new snow globe! Artistic children may enjoy filling squeeze bottles (like empty dish soap containers) with watercolor paint and making murals in the snow! You can even scoop up a bucket of snow and bring it indoors to do this activity to stay warm. Look at the one we made at the Center! Whether you prefer to be indoors throughout the winter season...

Baby It’s Cold Outside…

Winter has just begun and many of us are ready for it to be over already, especially those with Young Children. Creating an interesting and fun day during these frigid winter months can be a bit challenging with infants and toddlers. We have comprised a couple of fun activities that  you can do with your children to make the most of these winter months. Sensory play. Create a sensory table of you own. Get a little bucket or bowl from the dollar store, grab some clean snow from outside and let your baby experience snow without the cold temperatures of outside. Imaginary play. Take a trip to the beach! Fill the bathtub with warm water, add some bubbles, put on your baby’s swim suit and pretend it’s August and you’re at the beach! Talk about warm weather, sunshine and play some beach radio on Pandora. For added fun fill the bathroom with blowing bubbles or create moons and sand castles! Language and Literacy. Who doesn’t love a pillow and blanket fort in the living room! Take those cushions off the couch, gather all the blankets throughout the house and create a comfy cozy fort before nap time! Be sure to bring along your favorite personal items (security blanket, teddy bear, stuffed toy) and a few of your favorite books to read. Sit in your fort and read and play. Older toddlers and preschoolers could even nap inside! All these activities can be altered to your child’s likes and dislikes. If you have multiple children of different ages you can include the older ones to help create the activities! Keep...