Monthly Archives

October 2016

Five Little Pumpkins

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Happy Halloween everyone! Today the children at the centre are having a small Halloween Party, so in line with the occasion we thought we would post some fun Halloween material!

Specifically, based around the poem “Five Little Pumpkins”.

Here is a youtube video of the poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm1qvX1ygOo

And, a fun craft:

Materials

  • Black construction paper
  • Craft popsicle sticks
  • Orange paper (to craft into pumpkins)
  • Glue

Instructions

  1. Break up your craft sticks in half. Put four across with the round side up and then one horizontally across those four to make a fence. Do this twice side by side.
  2. Cut out pumpkins with your orange paper and draw jack-o-lantern faces on them.
  3. Glue these down a top your fence on the black construction paper.
  4. And that is it! A fun Halloween decoration.

Source for Craft: http://www.teaching-tiny-tots.com/toddler-activities-five-little-pumpkins.html

Source for Poem Image: http://www.famlii.com/five-little-pumpkins-poem-halloween-fingerplays-for-preschoolers/

 

 

Seven Domains of Early Childhood Development

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The concept of domains of early-childhood development is not a new one and has been advanced in several forms, sometimes discusses as the five domains or the six domains of early-childhood development. Here we will look at a format of seven essential areas of development that need to be nurtured in early childhood.

  1. Gross Motor: this is the movement of big muscles and consequently involves large (or gross) physical actions. This is control of things like running, walking ,crawling, jumping, climbing, etc.
  2. Fine Motor: contrasted with gross motor development, fine motor refers to small movements that involve precision and control of smaller muscles, often in the hands. These are things that involve hand-eye coordination such as writing, colouring, cutting, etc.
  3. Language: as the title states this involves the development of language. This includes the aphlabet, phonemic awareness (sounds of letters), oral and written language.
  4. Cognitive: cognitive development is a very broad category and a term that is used to refer to a number of things. In this context, cognitive includes cause-and –effect reasoning, problem solving skills and pre-math skills. Essentially, the domain of cognitive involves learning how to learn.
  5. Social/Emotional: Humans are intrinsically social creative and this means your child is too! Exposure to social situations in the early years helps them develop essential skills of communication and collaboration. In terms of emotionality, it is also a critical period for teaching children how to regulate their emotions, to help them form secure attachments to caregivers and to give them necessary nurturing.
  6. Self-Help/Adaptive: essentially this is giving children responsibility and teaching them independence. They need to learn how to do simple tasks for themselves, such as dressing themselves, using the washroom brushing teeth, etc.
  7. Spiritual/Moral: this domain refers to teaching children right from wrong and helping them develop a set of personal values of what is good in the world and the type of person they want to be. It sounds like large concepts for young children to grasp but this can be presented to children in simple ways. Like having them reflect on wrongdoings and discussing when they are kind and what kindess looks like.

So there you have it! All seven of these domains should be nurtured and promoted equally. No one domain is more important that the others. They are all key parts of a child’s development.

Source: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/domains-of-early-childhood-development/

 

Featured Book: Time Article of the Best Books of All Time

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Instead of a single featured book this week, we have multiple! Time released this article on the 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time and we think it is a phenomenal list.

Among the top books are:

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (illustrated by Clement Hurd)
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Make Way of Ducklings by Rober McCloskey
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Press Here by Herve Tullet
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett (illustrated by Jon Klassen)
  • And many more!

Check out the list here (source): http://time.com/100-best-childrens-books/ for all books, synopsises of each, and the ability to cast your own vote on the best book!

 

 

Why Play is Valuable for Children

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Play in general is great for children. It provides the opportunity for exploration and natural, independent learning. However, for the purposes of this discussion we will be focusing on physically active play and its benefits.

Physically active play is defined as “any form of exercise or movement as essential for children’s growth and development”.

So what benefits does this kind of play have:

  • Development of motor skills (coordination, balance, etc.)
  • Use of senses to gain understanding of self and the world
  • Encouragement of healthy, active lifestyle
  • Development of confidence in one’s own abilities
  • Development of creative skills
  • Learning about one’s own emotionality and how to self-regulate
  • Development of perceptual and cognitive skills
  • Development of active learning, team building, and problem solving skills.

Physical play also has benefits for the developing brain…

  • Active play in the early years promotes the connects of neural pathways in the brain, which are rapidly forming at this stage in life.
  • The more areas of the brain that are stimulated and used in the childhood, the greater the neurogenesis (creation of neural connections) in those areas.

Lastly, active play has a number of specific physical benefits

  • Maintenance of healthy weight and encouragement of physical activity throughout life
  • Strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system
  • Develops coordination
  • And it’s fun!

Source: http://www.cccf-fcsge.ca/wp-content/uploads/RS_103-e.pdf

 

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Craft

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This is a super cool twist on the regular pumpkin crafts for October and Halloween, and it is super pretty!

Materials

  • white pumpkin (even better if it is fake so you can keep the craft for later years)
  • crayons
  • glue
  • blow dryer

Instructions

  1. peel the paper from your crayons and cut or break them in half.
  2. Place them around the stem of the pumpkin in a circle. If they sit in the ridges this is great. Glue them in place.
  3. Heat up the blow dryer and apply the hot air to the crayons.
  4. Let the wax melt down the sides until the crayon is fully melted.
  5. Put the other halves of your crayons on as well if you would like to melt more.
  6. Use the blow dryer in different angles to let the wax go in different directions.
  7. CAUTIONARY NOTE: be sure to protect the surface you are working on as this will get messy!
  8. Let the kids participate and discuss what happened to the crayons.

Source: http://momspark.net/melted-crayon-pumpkin/

 

How Childcare = Early Learning

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In order to understand the topic of this post it is best to start with a definition of early learning. Early learning “refers to the emotional, social, physical, and intellectual development of young children”(source of quote at bottom). During the early years of children’s life they are developing rapidly, both physically and cognitively. They are in a state of constant learning as they interact with ever-changing and new environments, people, and situations.

For children who attend daycare, the childcare centre is one of these new and engaging environments that contribute to their constant learning. Furthermore, good childcare centres know that they are participating in an essential period of children’s development and strive to stimulate the developing child with new and unique experiences.

So what do these so-called “good” childcare centres look like? Well part of it is that they possess the following qualities:

  • Safe environment
  • Developmentally appropriate programming
  • Staffed by caring educators
  • Uses play-based exploratory methods
  • Attempt to build on the individuality of each child and acknowledge their diverse strengths and abilities
  • Support learning through nurturing relationships
  • Respect for the parent’s role as the most essential teacher in their lives
  • Support family development and community

When theses criteria are met, a childcare centre is able to provide essential early learning opportunities so that childcare and early learning unite as one fluid experience for the developing child.

Source: http://tricitiesecd.ca/resources/

 

Toilet Paper Crafts

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It is October everyone! The weather is colder and wetter which may mean slightly more time indoors. If your children are feeling cooped up this fall, here are some awesome craft activities that do not require a lot of supplies and reuse that old toilet paper rolls that you were probably just recycling anyways!

A Train from: kidsactivityblog

  • This one is super cool because it uses a number of recyclable items you probably have at home: toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, paper towel rolls, and string

A Turkey from: artsyfartsymama

  • This one is great for thanksgiving. It also using hand tracing and cut out which is good for development of fine motor skills.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar from: daynabayna

  • This pairs well with the Very Hungry Caterpillar children’s book by Eric Carle. Read the book and do the craft together!

An Apple Tree from: readingconfetti

  • This one is super cool because it is so simple yet turns out looking fantastic. This would make a great table decoration for your fall dining room table.

Fine Motor Play from: teachmemommy

  • This is great for your younger children to create and also to play with. Do it with your infant and toddler aged children.

And more! Visit source below for a list of 50 great toilet paper crafts!

Source: http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2015/09/toilet-paper-roll-crafts.html (also source for picture)