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Parkland Players

Why Preschool is Beneficial

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This is an old post of ours but we thought we would share it again since our preschool program at Meadowbrook will be resuming this September! 10 benefits of preschool for kids.

  1. Opportunity for growth: this means that it is a chance for children to be exposed to a new learning environment that they may not have had previous experience with
  2. Preparation for Kindergarten: most kindergarten teachers would agree that you can tell the difference between the children who attended preschool before entering kindergarten and those who haven’t (if their preschool program is good). Preschool not only prepares children for the academic skills they need in their school years but also provides them with the essential social development that comes with a classroom setting through an emphasis on learning through play.
  3. Promotion of Social and Emotional Development: children learn to become more comfortable with their attachment to their parents and decrease their separation anxiety before kindergarten. Preschool also teaches children essential self regulation, self-control, and communication skills.
  4. Introduction of Structure: the environment is intrinsically structured, basically there are rules of conduct that are known and expected to be followed to encourage positive interaction between students.
  5. Choices: just because there is structure doesn’t mean there isn’t choice. Children are still faced with problem-solving activities and are given control and option within activities which helps them develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
  6. Independence: children learn to take care of themselves and be less reliant on parents in a preschool setting. They also learn to empathize with peers and help take care of each other.
  7. Language and Cognitive Skills: this is one of the big ones. Preschool programs help children develop essential reading, writing, memory, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills. This development ties into their preparation for kindergarten.
  8. Curiosity: this is one of our favourites at Parkland Players. Curiosity is about wanting to learn and a good preschool program encourages children to think on their own, set their own goals, ask questions, look for answers and enjoy the whole process of discovery.
  9. Pre-math and Literacy Skills: tied to language and cognitive skills. Preschool programs help children build the foundation for learning math and literacy skills in kindergarten.
  10. Motor Skills: play helps children develop gross motor skills. Preschool programs can also help develop fine motor skills like writing and pencil grip movements.

Source: http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/why-preschool/

 

 

Featured Book: “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (The Chronicles of Narnia Series)

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This week our featured book is for the older students, best for kids grade 4 and up, or advanced readers. We are spotlighting “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis.

If your child is a fan of books with a theme of fantasy and magic this is a great one for them. We also like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because it is actually a series, so if your child likes the first one, there are plenty more books for them to get into!

To get an idea of the story check out the trailer for the movie adaption here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LshOd31d-yE

 

Shadow and Light Activities

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Due to the beautiful sunny weather this morning we thought these crafts about shadow and light were an appropriate post for today.

 

Shadow Tracing

Materials:

  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Blocks
  • Animal toys
  • Sunglasses

Instructions

  • Set up a table outside in the sun.
  • Roll out a large piece of white paper on the table.
  • Place blocks on the paper as well as animal toys/creatures so that the sun casts their shadow/silhouette on the paper
  • Have children trace and colour these shadows.

 

Chalk Shadows/Silhouettes

Materials

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • (and a sidewalk!)

Instructions

  • Go outside and have children pose in whatever position they would like so that they cast an interesting shadow.
  • Trace the shadow on the ground.
  • Fill in the shadow drawing with chalk decorations.
  • If it is not sunny, this can be done inside. Get large black paper, have children lie down on the paper while someone else traces around them, they can then cut out the silhouette to create a life sized shadow of themselves.

Shadow Tracing source: http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/solar-powered-crafts-and-activities/?slideId=55994

Chalk Shadow/Silhouettes source: http://rhythmsofplay.com/shadow-art-outdoor-science/

 

10 Benefits of Your Child’s Physical Activity

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Our post for today is an article from Parents Magazine: http://www.parents.com/fun/sports/exercise/10-benefits-of-physical-activity/

This article outlines the benefits and importance of encouraging physical activity for your child. We liked this article because its highlighted that physical activity includes the simple things like walking to the store, playing baseball in the backyard, taking the stairs. It is all about doing whatever you can to support healthy, balancing living.

 

Importance of Letting Children Play Outside No Matter the Weather

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Today check out this article on why letting children play outside in all weather is important and beneficial: http://rainorshinemamma.com/five-reasons-why-i-let-my-kids-play-outside-in-almost-any-weather/

This mother blogs about why she personally thinks it is important to let her children play in all weather so that they can develop resiliency, experience all seasons (which we are blessed to have in the Lower Mainland), to encourage active living, to be prepared and aware of their surrounding climate, and to learn to love the environment.

 

Activities to Stimulate Creativity for Preschoolers

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Today our post is an article from the Himama Childcare and Preschool Blog.

In order to preserve the assertions made by the original author we suggest reading it on their website here: https://www.himama.com/8-Creative-Activities-for-Preschoolers/?ref=newsletter

The article discusses how preschoolers are at the age where their creativity seems endless, how it is incredibly important to continue to encourage this creativity and some ways to do this.

Check it out!

Snowy Owls: Book and Craft

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January is almost over and we can’t believe how quickly it went by! Our theme for the month was winter animals. Children were doing a number of activities to explore this topic and learn more about the animals that thrive in snowy and colder climates. So, before January truly comes to an end, we thought we would share a fun craft!

This activity goes best alongside the book “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson. For a video reading of the book visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6aYYiyQUmY but we recommend reading the actual book as it is a good way to practice literacy skills and the illustrations of the forest scenery are quite beautiful. After reading the book you can begin the craft. The idea is to recreate one of the scenes in the story. You can pick whichever scene you like, or match the one above. Here’s what you will need to do!

Materials

  • Black construction paper
  • Brown construction paper (this can also just be white paper painted brown, or even use a brown lunch bag!)
  • Orange construction paper
  • Black marker
  • Glue
  • White acrylic paint
  • Large pom-pom
  • Clothespin

Instructions

  1. Start with your black construction paper. This part is up to you how you want to make it look like the scenery in the book. Some suggestions include painting on some glitter glue to make it look like a starry sky, or colouring with pastels to add some forest foliage.
  2. Next, make a tree branch out of brown paper. Draw lines and swirls on it to make it look like a wood texture. You can even crumple and uncrumple it for further effect before gluing it on the bottom of your black construction paper background.
  3. Now here is the fun part. Put a pom pom (you could also use a cotton ball) in a clothespin and use this as your paint brush! This is good for fine motor and sensory abilities. Dip the pom pom in white paint and dab it on the paper to make the shapes of three owl babies!
  4. Finally glue on eyes by cutting out ciricles of brown, then black, then white paper in that size order from largest to smallest. And a triangle out of orange paper for the beak. (Note: you could also substitute googly eyes here if you have them.)
  5. And that’s it! A snowy owl scene! Discuss with children any questions they have about snowy owls.

Source: http://iheartcraftythings.com/owl-babies-craft.html