Monday, January 29, 2018

I Build, I Create

Building toys allow children to create their own fantasy worlds and stories. Using the imagination boosts cognitive, academic, language and social growth. As they create structures, they also create stories which leads to greater verbal skills including their ability to tell stories. Once their block masterpiece is finished, children are so proud of their accomplishments. It increases their belief in themselves which, in turn, boosts their self-confidence.

The boys in Pre K enjoy building with the mega cardboard blocks.

Friends in Pre K 2 have fun with playing with Legos!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Parachute fun!

Parachute games for preschoolers channel energy in creative ways. They help little ones focus on rhythm, as they are learning how to move as a group, and they aid in listening skills. Parachute games indoors or outdoors help to build social interaction, as children must work together in order to make the parachute move, and they motivate kids to take turns. Gross motor skills are also put into play when small arms stretch high and low, strengthening the upper torso.

Here is a list of some of our favorite parachute games:

  • Popcorn: Place a number of beanbags, small balls, or cottonballs onto the parachute. Shake to make them pop up like "popcorn".

  • Ball Roll: Have the kiddos try to roll the balls into the hole in the middle of the parachute. (Or have them try to keep the balls from going into the hole in the center.)

  • Making Waves: Kids can make small, medium, or large movements to make various types of "waves." You can incorporate a story about a ship on the sea, weather, etc. &/or use your voice as a tool to emphasize directives.

  • Merry-Go-Round: Children turn their bodies sideways and hold the parachute with one hand. They then walk around in a circle, making a "Merry-Go-Round." For variety, they can hop, skip, jump, etc. You can stop music as a cue to reverse and go the other direction. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Babies and Bubbles...Our Favorites!

Bubbles are not only LOVED by our babies and toddlers, they are also wonderful way to encourage many areas of development and learning.

Visual tracking skills
Bubbles are an excellent way to help babies develop visual skills. We are not born with the visual skills we need for learning, including the skills to fix, follow, track, and focus. These skills need to develop over time. Because bubbles are both eye catching and slow moving, they are a great aid eye development.

Gross motor movement, balance and muscle tone development
For little babies, bubbles are a fun tummy time activity and every bit of happy tummy time helps with development! In tummy time position, bubbles encourage head turning – right, left, up and down--movements that are needed to help control primitive reflexes, so important for future coordinated movement and learning.

Hand-eye and foot-eye coordination
Popping the bubbles, be it with the whole hand, two hands, a finger, a foot or a toe all involve the development of hand-eye or foot-eye coordination. These early movement experiences form the basic building blocks of the catching, hitting, throwing and kicking skills.

We encourage all families to start blowing bubbles at home! Simple, clean fun! 
Reaching for bubbles!

Yay! Bubbles!

I see bubbles!

Bubbles tickle when they pop!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fitness Fanatics...Teacher Edition

Fitness Fanatics is an NGU favorite for not only our kiddos and families but for our staff, too! We have to give a very special thank you shout-out to 180° Chiropractic and Wellness for doing a "lunch-and-learn with our staff about the importance of nutrition, exercise, and overall health. They gave great nutrition tips, as well as free visits to the their office. Below are nutrition tips that our teachers found most helpful.

Most Toxic Food Ingredients:

1. Sodium Nitrite
2. Hydrogenated oils
3. Excitotoxins
4. Food Dyes
5. Refined Flours
6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
7. Sugar
8. Pesticides
9. Additives/Preservatives

The Top 10 Toxic Foods:

1. Salad Dressings
2. Candy
3. Deli/Packaged Meat
4. White Bread
5. Sprayed Produce
6. Margarine
7. Diet Soda/Drinks
8. GMO Foods
9. Commercial Dairy
10. Seasoned Packaged Foods

We should always try to stay away from the foods and ingredients listed above.  

Again, thank you 180° Chiropractic and Wellness for our lunch-and-learn. 

Dr. Ben Sweeney gives a presentation on health and wellness.

Our staff enjoys lunch while learning which fruit and vegetables to buy organic.

Dr. Sweeney shows our staff how spinal cord misalignments can cause all sorts of health problems.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Belmont Theatre Presents...

Special thank you to the Belmont Theatre for coming out and putting on an ahhh-mazing show for us! As we continue to explore fables, nursery rhymes, and tall tales, this show and cast was superb! The cast discussed themes of making the right choices, as well is being comfortable with the person that you are! Thanks again for coming to see us!