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

 

Making Recycled Paper

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As many of you may know, Earth Day is coming up this month, so in the spirit of the occasion we are sharing this super cool activity for learning about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Materials Needed:

  • Mesh or sheer fabric
  • Craft sticks
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Rolling pin

Instructions:

  1. Note: all instructions below are taken exactly from the source site in order to preserve the directions of the task.
  2. Tear the egg carton into tiny pieces. You will want about 2-3 cups of paper pieces. Place the pieces in a blender.
  3. Boil about 2 cups of hot water.
  4. While the water is heating, assemble your craft stick frame. We used eight sticks to make a large square and glued it with hot glue. Then glue the frame to our sheer fabric and cut off the excess fabric.
  5. Once the water is boiling, pour it into the blender with the paper pieces. The hot water will start to turn the carton into pulp. Place the lid on the blender and blend the paper pieces and water until it creates a soup-like mixture.
  6. Place the frame over a large bowl. Pour the paper pulp over the frame and use the rolling pin to spread the pulp evenly across the frame. Use a second piece of fabric to keep the paper from sticking to the rolling pin. Let the water drip out of the frame. If your frame bends, place it on a glass baking pan turned upside down. This will allow the water to strain out and down the sides of the pan without allowing the paper to sit in water, which will prevent it from drying.
  7. Allow the paper to dry completely, which may take 24 or more hours. When your paper is dry, slowly peel it off the frame!

Source: http://www.schoolingamonkey.com/how-paper-is-recycled/

 

Keeping Your Spring Break Active

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Spring Break is a great chance to spend time together as a family, but often it also ends up being a time to knock of some of the big things on your to do list. And it can be difficult to think of activities to do with the kids every day, if you don’t have them in a camp or daycare program. So today we are sharing this awesome article from fraser health about 7 things you can do on your spring break to keep kids active and engaged instead of watching TV and telling you they are bored again.

Check out the article here: Fraser Health 7 Spring Break Things To Do

 

Water Cycle in a Jar

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Today we are sharing a super cool activity from some of the staff at our centre. They did this activity in the past week with preschoolers and the students loved it!

Goals of the Activity: Learn about learn, understand how regular events in the environment occur, encourage exploration and curiosity.

Materials Needed:

  1. Water
  2. Shaving cream
  3. Popcorn
  4. Food colouring (preferably blue)
  5. Clear container (like a jar)

Instructions

  1. If you are in a group, have children gather around a table.
  2. Fill container with water
  3. Put container of water on table.
  4. Discuss rainy weather as it pertains to relevant topics (ex. Spring weather, outdoors, etc.)
  5. Put popcorn in the water. Discuss how it represents clounds and how the clouds get too heavy with water.
  6. Put food colouring in for rain. Discuss condensation and precipitation processes.
  7. Have children go to eye level with bottle.
  8. Make sure children observe and ask questions.

Source: Staff at Parkland Players adapted this activity from a variety of sources. For more details regarding this activity, feel free to contact us.

 

 

Encouraging Independence and Building Confidence in the Early Years

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Happy Wednesday everyone! We cannot believe that it is March already, 2018 seems to be flying by! Today we wanted to talk a bit about encouraging independence is the early years in order to help your child to begin building the necessary confidence to take them forward throughout their lives.

In the family setting a number of small things can go a long way towards encouraging independence. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Getting Dressed: children aged 2.5-3 are capable of dressing themselves, so this skill should be encouraged
    • Have their clothing where it is accessible for their reach.
    • Have a smaller amount of clothes available to them when they are dressing themselves so that they don’t get overwhelmed with the decision making and focus on the dressing themselves part
  2. Cleaning: children are messy, and it is okay to teach them to clean up after themselves!
    • Have a few child friendly cleaning items like designated rags and a brush and dustpan.
    • Encourage children clean up after themselves when they make a mess using their own cleaning tools
  3. Food: preschool aged children are not only capable of feeding themselves but can also make themselves a snack every once in awhile
    • This doesn’t mean that you have to expect them to cook dinners or use appliances on their own, as that can be very dangerous.
    • But teach children simple task like making a sandwich
    • Have cutlery and plates at their level so that they can use them independently.
    • It might take a few tries with parent assistance to get the peanut butter to jam ratio just right but after a while this might be something you can allow them to do on their own
  4. Self Care: the little everyday things are important too
    • Teach your child how to tie their shoelaces, do their buttons, wash their hands, etc. on their own.
    • Sometimes this can be tedious as their fine motor skills are not fully developed yet and they are slow with these motions, but practice makes perfect.
    • Have patience, let them work it out on their own, if they make a mistake you can let them know but have them correct it themselves.

Basically, the little things can go a long way to helping your child develop the necessary skills and confidence to be independent!

Source: https://childhood101.com/encouraging-independence-in-children/