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Parkland Players

Tips for Limiting Screen Time

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You probably know by now that “screen time” is not a great thing for your child’s health, or your own! In fact, it is recommended that children should spend no greater than 2 hours in front of a screen per day. The negative impacts of excessive screen time include risk of childhood obesity, aggressive behaviour, low energy, difficulty focusing in school, and exposure to media that may not be age appropriate.

So to combat the side effects of too much screen time, today we are sharing some tips for limiting screen time in the family situation.

  1. Be an Example: if you are limiting your child’s screen time, start with limiting your own!
  2. Be the Parent: the decision to limit your children’s screen time may not be a popular one with the kids, but you are the parent, and your job is to encourage healthy behaviours for your child.
  3. Set Limited Viewing Times: select specific times of day, or reasons to use the screen. For example, if there is a TV show that everyone likes, agree to use the TV at the time it is on each day and for that time only.
  4. Encourage Other Activities: don’t just suggest that your child reads books instead of playing on the tablet; make sure they have the book to read too! Go to the library together and make an outing of it.
  5. Play with Your Kids: this sounds like a suggestion for just the toddlers, but it applies to all age groups! As babies you get on the floor and roll a toy truck or ball, when they are older you can play board games or go outside and play soccer together!
  6. Value Family Meals: avoid watching TV during dinnertime. Have a meal together as a family and discuss your day.
  7. No TVs in Bedrooms: keep the TV out of your room and your kids!

For more tips on limiting screen time visit (source): https://www.becomingminimalist.com/how-to-limit-your-childs-screen-time/

 

 

 

Educator Spotlight Interview

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Today we are excited to share something a little different for our blog post! Recently the wonderful people at himama.com reached out to have our Operational Manager, Shohreh, featured in one of their Educator Spotlight Blog Posts and that post is up now!

In the post Shohreh shares a little bit about her passion for early childhood education, her goals for supporting the community, and her journey in the field.

Check out the full article here: https://www.himama.com/blog/educator-spotlight-shohreh-mansourian

Thank you to Himama for presenting us on this awesome part of your website and including us in your community of Early Childhood Educators!

 

Summer Reading Guide 2018

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With the summer right around the corner and the weather constantly improving it is often easy to neglect literacy goals, or choose other activities over spending some time reading.

For that reason, today we wanted to direct you to an awesome resource for keeping reading in mind this summer!

Reading Rockets is an organization based in the United States that provides information and support for education and literacy for both parents and teachers. The put out a summer reading guide every year and have recently shared their guide for 2018!

This guide is great because it not only suggests books for readers age 0 to 12 but also breaks down these books by age and provides a brief description of each so you can decide what you are interested in before heading to the local library or bookstore.

Check out the guide here: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/summer/2018

What do you do to keep reading during the summer months? Are books something you take with you on vacation? We hope you enjoy this resource as much as we do!

 

 

6 Types of Play Important in Early Childhood Development

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Researchers are increasingly finding that play is essential to development in the early years. As a parent, you likely see recommendations from all kinds of places to engage your children in more play in order to stimulate healthy development.

However, it is important to also understand that play is not limited to the conventional activities we see on the playground during recess and lunch. Play is a dynamic action that can take a variety of forms and changes with your child’s development over the years.

According to American sociologist Mildred Parten Newhall, there are actually 6 general types of play that are applicable for ages 2 to 5 years old. These various types of play each have a variety of benefits for the child, and learning about these distinctions can help parents better understand how to guide and support their child’s development through play in the early years.

  1. Unoccupied Play: although Parten defined this as not truly play, this is actually the most basic level of play. At this stage babies and toddlers are starting to figure out what play is. Their play behaviours are disorganized and mostly involve creative body movements, but there is a lot more going on during this kind of play than meets the eye. Children engaged in unoccupied play are not only developing their play skills but also developing their understanding of the world through movements, the senses, and exploration of the environment.
  2. Independent or Solitary Play: This stage or type of play can be understood as the play that happens when children are on their own. Solitary play can take a variety of forms, for the more introverted child, it may mean reading a book quietly in the corner of a cozy room, for the more energetic child, it may involve running around outdoor and engaging with nature, picking up sticks and observing insects in the garden. Whatever form independent play takes, it is important for the development of self-concept and self-esteem. Children need to be comfortable with themselves in order to have successful social interactions in the later years.
  3. Onlooker Play: most parents are familiar with that moment when their child sort of freezes and gets lost in watching mom or dad do something they find interesting. Eventually, they may even begin to imitate the actions that they have observed! This kind of play is good for learning new skills, finding new interests, but also bonding with parents. If parents can get their child involved when they are playing in the onlooker style, then parents and children can play together and this will strengthen attachments.
  4. Parallel Play: parallel play can be understood as playing beside other children, rather than with others. Children may share the play space and toys but their play is still mostly independent. This kind of play is the first step in learning how to engage in more social kinds of play. Children develop important communication skills like sharing with others and giving other children enough personal space.
  5. Associative Play: At this stage, children begin to play with others, but their goal-directed behaviours within playing may be different. For example, children my enjoy making art together, they will use the same supplies, share their work, but their individual artistic goals are different. Children begin to develop this sort of play around age 3. This is important for expanding social experiences and lengthening attention spans.
  6. Cooperative Play: in this sort of play, children have already practiced a lot of their social skills and are now ready to incorporate teamwork into their play activities. Children are capable of playing together with a common goal or purpose. For example, a group of children may decide to play a game of soccer together. They all know the rules of the game, agree to follow them and attempt to play according to this structure. This stage of play helps to further develop social and emotional skills like communication, problem-solving, compromising with others, positive attitudes towards teamwork, creating friendships and building confidence and self-esteem.

There you have it, six types of play in early childhood! Although this kids of play are presented as though they are stages and children graduate from one to the next, this is not always the case. Play is fluid and children may exhibit various types of play all at one age, just in different settings.

So, keep encouraging your children to play, and when you get the chance, play with them! The benefits are endless, and you just might have some fun as well!

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/types-of-play#11

 

Why Summer Camps Programs Can Be Beneficial for Your Child’s Development

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Summer is often seen as a great opportunity for kids (and parents) to take a break from the busy school year. But just because you are resting and relaxing with the better weather doesn’t mean that your child’s development and learning stops! For this reason, Summer Camps and educational programming in July and August can be incredibly beneficial for children of all ages.

 

Summer Camps can help children to continue to develop social and emotional skills such as building friendships. It also helps them keep practicing and maintaining routines. Furthermore, a lot of summer camps programs have cognitive, literacy, and science educational programming built into them which can help children continue to use those skills, so when they come back to school in September they are well-prepared.

 

For a great article on the benefits of summer programming, go here: https://www.u-gro.com/2018/04/benefits-summer-childcare/

 

Spring Time Nature Collages

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Developmental Goal/Activity Objective: To practice creative art skills while learning about the environment.

Materials Needed:

  1. Contact paper OR clear plastic and glue
  2. Nature materials

Instructions

  1. Go on a nature walk and collect some outdoor items.
  2. Put out some contact paper with the sticky side up.
  3. Use the materials from outdoors to make a collage by placing the items on the sticky contact paper.
  4. Seal them in with a second piece of contact paper stuck to the first.
  5. Display in the window for best effect.

 

Guidance and Safety Considerations

Contact paper is sticky, might need to be taped to the table to be easier to work with.

 

Source: https://www.themaven.net/kidsactivities/kidsactivities/nature-craft-collage-Vli3sX9MBE2RCZwlMI39zg?full=1

 

 

 

IQ vs EQ: Why Emotional Learning is Important

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Today we are sharing an article form “Today’s Parent” about IQ and EQ. For those that don’t know, IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, and in this context can be understand and the traditional understanding of academic learning. EQ stands for Emotional Intelligence Quotient, and refers to a child’s emotional skillset. Emotional intelligence is important for internal things like self-regulation, understanding how you are feeling and how to deal with your own emotions, but it is also important for social skills. Throughout our educational lives, there should be a push to focus on EQ just as much, if not more than academic abilities.

Social-emotional skills are not innate, they are learned, and so it is our job as parents and teachers to help children develop their EQ’s in order to become confident, socially competent, empathetic, and emotionally healthy human beings.

For the full article on IQ and EQ go here: IQ vs EQ