Monthly Archives

May 2016

Origami Crafts for Kids

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These crafts are great for fine motor skills as they require precise folding of paper. We like the following items, see link at bottom for instructions on how to make each.

  1. Origami Boat
  2. Origami Dog (this one is fairly simple!)
  3. Origami Hat
  4. Origami Santa Claus (great for the holidays!)
  5. Origami Fortune Teller
  6. Origami Fan
  7. Origami Airplane
  8. Origami Yacht
  9. Origami Bear Face
  10. Origami Pin Wheel (this ones are fun to put in the garden in the summer!)
  11. Origami Bird (probably the hardest, this is best for older children)
  12. Origami Shirt
  13. Origami House
  14. Origami Star
  15. Origami Whale

Source: http://www.momjunction.com/articles/paper-folding-or-origami-art-and-craft-for-kids_00360161/

 

Easy and Fun Science Experiments

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Here are some easy and fun science experiments that will impress your kids.

  1. Magic Pencil
    1. Collect a plastic baggie, a sharp pencil and water
    2. Fill the plastic bag 3/4ths full with water and seal it shut.
    3. Hold the bag up with one hand and put the pointy end of the pencil through with the other until it has punctured both sides of the bag
    4. The water won’t spill. Discuss with your child, why they thing that is.
  2. Lollipop Lab
    1. Sort lollipops into different flavour categories, place them together in water and watch what happens
  3. Cloud Experiment
    1. You will need shaving cream, a jar, water, and food colouring
    2. Fill the jar with water, put shaving cream with food colouring on top and see what happens
    3. See link at bottom for full instructions for this one
  4. Exploding Milk
    1. Mix milk, baking soda, vinegar
    2. This will cause a fizzy eruption that is tons of fun
  5. And more! Check out link at bottom!

Source: http://mom.me/style/23123-super-easy-and-cool-science-experiments-will-impress-your-kids/item/crystal-rainbow/

 

Featured Book: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”

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Our featured book for this week is “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems. This is a fun and funny book about a rule-breaking Pigeon. Kids will love this hilarious pigeon.

Also, if your kids like this book, there are more in the series by Mo Willems. Including:

  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath!
  • The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!
  • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

For a video reading of the book visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V10jhsNIMI8

 

Outdoor Rhyming Memory Game

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This is a fun literacy game for the warmer weather.

Materials

  • Coloured paper plates
  • Memory clues (print outs in link at bottom)
  • And space!

Instructions

  1. Print the memory items, cut them out and glue each one to a paper plate.
  2. Place the paper plates out in a large outdoor (or indoor if you prefer) space.
  3. Play like the classic memory game in which you have to flip cards and match them. If you don’t match then you must turn the plate back over.
  4. In this case you are matching images of words that rhyme. This is great for literacy development.
  5. If you do not want to match using rhyming, then print double the memory clues and use double the paper plates. Simply match the images this way.

Memory images: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_jZ6Av-h_xvdzByQUVuMDhzVzA/view?pref=2&pli=1

Source: http://growingbookbybook.com/giant-sized-rhyming-memory-game/

 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

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The above photo is a fun scavenger hunt you can do with your kids next time you go for a walk or to the park this spring and summer. Or even if your backyard!

We like this hunt because it isn’t just looking for items but also textures in the environment. Giving children a descriptive word rather than a list of objects forces them to use the senses of vision and touch AND allows them to be more creative.

Source: http://www.cleanandscentsible.com/2015/06/outdoor-scavenger-hunt-and-smores-printables.html

 

Painting Fireworks

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This is an awesome art activity, especially because it is so simple. The featured photo on the bottom is one of the children’s own art from this activity at our centre. Give it a try at home!

Materials

  • Coloured paint
  • Large sheets of paper (poster size)
  • Cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls)

Instructions

  1. Cut little strips into the cardboard tubes (as pictured). Make different tubes with different length strips. Let your children help with this! Scissor use is great for fine motor development.
  2. Bend out the strips so the tube kind of looks like an octopus.
  3. Pour some paint of different colours onto paper plates, spread the paint around so it covers a lot of the plate
  4. Dip the spread cardboard tubes into the paint and then press them against the large paper. Get creative with the different sizes and colours!
  5. And there you go, you have fireworks art!

Source: http://www.learning4kids.net/2015/12/27/painting-fireworks/

 

The Anxious Child: 13 Helpful Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

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This week (May 2nd to 8th) is national Mental Health Week. The initiative is meant to encourage people to talk about, learn about and reflect on issues in the area of mental health. For mental health week we will be doing a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

This is the last post in a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

Many children experience anxiety from time to time when they are adjusting to a new environment, new friends, or in general may be having an emotional day. However, some children are more prone to anxious responses to stress than others. The anxious child can be hard to talk to and reason with sometimes, you want to get at the root cause of their anxiety and help to calm down but this can be difficult at times. We liked the above poster for some things to keep in mind when talking to an anxious child to help them calm down and show empathy.

Source: https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/13-phrases-calm-your-anxious-child-infograph

 

The Anxious Child: The Impact and How to Talk to Your Child

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This week (May 2nd to 8th) is national Mental Health Week. The initiative is meant to encourage people to talk about, learn about and reflect on issues in the area of mental health. For mental health week we will be doing a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

This is the second post in a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

Anxiety can impact people in different ways but there are some general commonalities for understanding how anxiety works.

Anxiety BC calls this the ABCs of Anxiety and they are as follows:

  • A = Affect: this can be emotional and physical. For children physical symptoms are common because children can more easily identify them (see source at bottom for examples)
  • B =Behaviour: the biggest them in behaviour when a child is experiencing anxiety is avoidance, usually of the thing that is causing them distress
  • C = Cognition: basically this refers to the thought processes of worrying
  • D = Dependence: simply, anxious children depend on their parents far more than the same aged peers without anxiety. They seek reassurance and comfort from their parents
  • E = Excessive and Extreme: worry is over the top. It is out of proportion to amount of threat in the situation
  • F = Functioning: anxiety when severe can get in the way of daily tasks.

Children, especially younger ones may not know that what they are experiencing is anxiety, and this can lead to further distress. It can be helpful to talk to your child about what they experiencing and anxiety and to help them figure out how to regulate these emotions.

Here are some steps suggested by Anxiety BC to help communicate with your child about anxiety:

  1. Encourage your child to open up about worries and fears: start by describing a recent situation in which you observed some anxious behaviour and ask your child about the behaviour and situation. Try to sympathize and understand that even if your child’s fear/worry seems irrational, it is real to them.
  2. Teach your child about anxiety: This can look different for different age groups and levels of anxiety, but the basic goal is to explain to your child some of the information in the previous posts. Tell them what anxiety is, how it affects them, and how to identify it.
  3. Help Your Child Recognize Anxiety: Lastly, help your child figure out how to notice when they are feeling anxious and to develop some strategies to help them calm down in those situations. This is specific to each child and may take some practice to identify “triggers” that elevate anxiety, and things that help a child come down to a more calm state. This can be things like breathing exercises, counting exercises, or activities at the end of the day that help them decompress like kid’s yoga or reading with a parent.

Source: http://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/parent-child

 

The Anxious Child: What Childhood Anxiety May Look Like

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This week (May 2nd to 8th) is national Mental Health Week. The initiative is meant to encourage people to talk about, learn about and reflect on issues in the area of mental health. For mental health week we will be doing a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

This is the first post in a series of posts on childhood anxiety.

Anxiety in children is becoming more prevalent than ever, maybe not because children are more anxious nowadays, but rather because childhood anxiety is becoming an important topic of discussion more and more. Approximately 20% of people (including children) will experience some form of maladaptive anxiety within their lifespan. This of course does not mean all anxiety is maladaptive. Anxiety is a natural human response to the possibility of future threat. It plays an important role in preparing the body to respond to threatening situations. However, when anxiety occurs and there is no TRUE threat to the self, it can cause problems.

So, what does anxiety look like in a child? Anxiety can include, but is not limited to some of the following behaviours:

  • Clinging, crying and/or tantrums when separated from a caregiver
  • Excessive shyness, avoiding social situations (ex. Birthday parties, school, sporting events)
  • Constant worry
  • Avoiding situations or places because of fears
  • Complaints of frequent stomachaches or headaches (these are some of the physical ways anxiety can display in children, children may be able to label a physical pain easier than they can identify an emotional state such as anxiety)
  • Fatigue, a child may express being tired often

What you need to know if your child is displaying some of these behaviours:

  • Anxiety is normal: everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, it is a normal response in certain situations. It only becomes a concern when it occurs excessively and inappropriately
  • Anxiety is adaptive: like previously mentioned, anxiety is the body’s natural response to identifying and preparing for potential threats
  • Anxiety is part of life: most people experience it at one point or another
  • Anxiety can become a problem: when it is chronic and interferes with daily functioning, however there are ways to cope with it.

Why is this relevant to education?

  • A lot of the time anxiety for children can be attached to school. Based on either the social setting of school, or the academic pressure.

In our next post we will discuss the impact of anxiety for children, teens, and adults.

Source: http://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/parent-child