Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rainy Day Blues? We've Got the Cure.

Spring brings about some not so pretty weather...thunderstorms and rain are in the forecast. If the rain has gotten you down, like it has done us, here's a list of fun things to do while you're stuck indoors.

1. Bake!
2. Whip up a batch of ooblek and challenge your young scientist to define its state of matter.
3. Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show.
4. Cuddle up with a pile of books.
5. Build, create, and invent with STEM-inspired toys.
6. Play "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader."
7. Craft the easiest bird feeder ever.
8. Gather the family to enjoy a story podcast.
9. Make your own instruments; then, lead a marching band parade through the living room.
10. Make paper-bag puppets and put on a show.
11. Pop some kernels and watch a classic movie.
12. Play "I Spy.
13. Write letters (on actual paper with actual pens and pencils) to out-of-town relatives or friends.
14. Embrace your inner Einstein with cool science experiments.
15. Freeze Dance using a playlist.
16. Do anything that involves bubble wrap.
17. Pull out the building blocks and Legos and create a mini city.
18. Blow up some balloons, toss 'em in the air, and don't let them touch the ground.
19. Make a watercolor masterpiece.
20. Keep your heart rate up with Wii Fit or Xbox One games.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Easter Egg-Stravaganza 2018

Even though the weather is not giving us the springtime feel, we are still geared for some spring fun! Our friends and families were invited to have fun snacks, dye Easter eggs, and even visit with the Easter Bunny on their way home last Friday! We look forward to even more Easter fun this week with our annual class Easter Parties! No one parties like AoSL!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Beginning in 1995, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows.

Here are a few of our friends displaying their Irish spirit for the camera!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Around the World in 5 Days!

This month our Frog Street Pre-K curriculum details the ins and outs of "Things that Move." This week in particular discusses travel. Our fabulous teachers have gone above and beyond to make their travel theme come to life! Each day this week, the students will "travel" to a different country. While there, they will learn unique things about the culture, the language, the food, the dress, the landmarks, and the people. Here are a few quick snapshots of the some of the countries they will visit and the things they will learn.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Biting Toddler

Toddlers do the most adorable things: Give unexpected hugs, squeal with laughter, and cuddle up to you when they're tired.
But as any parent or caregiver of a toddler will tell you, they also do some not-so-adorable things, like kick, scream ... or bite.

Biting is  a way for toddlers to get attention or express how they're feeling. Frustration, anger, and fear are strong emotions, and toddlers lack the language skills to deal with them. So if they can't find the words they need quickly enough or can't say how they're feeling, they may bite as a way of saying, "Pay attention to me!" or "I don't like that!" Tensions that can drive a toddler to bite can arise from things that have recently happened-- the birth of a sibling, the absence of a parent, a change in caregivers, a family move are significant changes.

The fact that a toddler has feelings that are being expressed in biting isn’t the fault of the parent, or of the toddler. Biting is like a runny nose: it’s common, it’s not fun for the child or the parents, and it can affect other children adversely, but it’s not the sign that anyone is “bad.”

With biting, it's important to deal with the behavior immediately after it happens. We always follow these simple steps when it comes to biting in our classrooms:

Step 1: Be calm and firm. Address the child with a firm "no thank you!" or "biting hurts!" We keep it simple and make it clear that biting is wrong. Our teachers remain as calm as possible, as this will help resolve the situation more quickly. 
Step 2: Comfort the victim. Our staff will direct their attention to the person who has been bitten, especially if it's another child. 
Step 3: Comfort the biter, if need be. Often, toddlers don't realize that biting hurts, so our teachers know that it is okay to comfort a child who may be feeling upset about hurting someone. But we do not reinforce this negative behavior if he or she bites to get attention.
Step 4: Redirect. Distraction works wonders with kids this age. If emotions and energy levels are running high or if boredom has set in, we redirect the little one's attention to a more positive activity, like dancing to music, coloring, or playing a game.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Special Visit From the Dentist

Parents are often unsure about when to take their child to a dentist. Should you wait until all of his teeth have come in, or perhaps until there is a real problem? Experts say no. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a child's first visit should be when the first tooth erupts in the mouth, no later than age one to two.

When babies are born, they usually have 20 primary teeth that have partly formed inside the gums. The front two upper and lower teeth usually begin to erupt when the child is between six and 12 months old. Most children have a set of 20 primary teeth in their mouths by the time they are age three. Tooth decay can start as early as the first tooth eruption. You may wonder why you should worry about decay in baby teeth, since they will be replaced by permanent teeth. The problem is that decay in primary teeth could mean a higher risk of decay in the permanent teeth. And if decay is severe, it can harm your child's overall health. 

Additionally, according to the AAPD, it is very important to keep primary teeth in place until they are lost naturally. The primary teeth are important for many reasons including:
  • Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition.
  • Involvement in speech development.
  • Helping save space for permanent teeth.
  • Promoting a healthy smile that helps children feel good about the way they look.     
Today we had a very special guest visit us and discuss the importance of dental health, hygiene, brushing, and flossing. All of our friends were so excited to use the giant toothbrush and even get their own brand new brush.

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day. Visit your dentist twice per year! And remember they're never too young for proper dental health and hygiene!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dramatic Play!

Dramatic play is a type of play where children assign and accept roles and act them out. It’s pretending to be someone or something else, someone different and new like a super-villain, or someone well known and familiar like mom or dad.

When our kids engage in dramatic play, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, they learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When children pretend to be different characters, they have the experience of "walking in someone else's shoes," which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. It is normal for young children to see the world from their own egocentric point of view, but through maturation and cooperative play, they will begin to understand the feelings of others. They also build self-esteem when they discover they can be anything just by pretending!  

Nurture the Imagination at Home:

Not enough pretend play at your house? Consider creating a prop box or corner filled with objects to spark your preschooler's fantasy world. Items might include:
  •  Large plastic crates, cardboard blocks, or a large, empty box for creating a "home"
  • Old clothes, shoes, backpacks, hats
  • Old telephones, phone books, magazines
  • Cooking utensils, dishes, plastic food containers, table napkins, silk flowers
  • Stuffed animals and dolls of all sizes
  • Fabric pieces, blankets, or old sheets for making costumes or a fort
  • Theme-appropriate materials such as postcards, used plane tickets, foreign coins, and photos for a pretend vacation trip
  • Writing materials for taking phone messages, leaving notes, and making shopping lists
A friend in Toddler 4 feeds her baby a taco.

This friend is putting her baby to bed.

A friend feeds his baby some soup.