Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fun Games to Play with Your Baby

Playing games with your baby helps fit the puzzles pieces together as your baby grows. Playing with your baby is vital to your baby's social, emotional, and cognitive development.  Playing with your baby will also help to improve your relationship.

So what sort of games should you play with your baby? A game can be anything. Our infant teachers have put together a book of pictures for each baby. Each picture has pictures of their family, pets, and their favorite toys. The teachers identify the pictures to the baby. A game of peek a book, hiding toys under a small soft blanket, and finger-plays are also great simple games to play with your baby.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you play games with your baby:

  • Repetition is so important for your baby. Introducing a new game might not work the first time. Practice make perfect!
  • Babies can become over stimulated. If you find that your baby cries during the game, it might be time to move on to a quiet activity such as showing your baby pictures books, singing songs, or even just cuddling with your baby. 
  • Incorporate tummy time, sitting up, and some other developmental essentials into the games. Tummy time just by itself is no fun at all but placing a toy within your baby's reach can certainly pass the time. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Teach Children to Care for Pets

This month our children are learning more about animals and their habitats. We recently invited a petting zoo to our school and the teachers were so amazed with how careful our children were with handling the animals. Many of the children at our school have pets at home and have lots of opportunities to show kindness, respect, and love towards an animal. If you are thinking about getting a pet for your child, here are a few tips.

  1. Do some research about which types of pets are a good match for your child. Some pets require lots of time and attention and may not be a compatible match for your child.
  2. Make your home pet friendly. Store any chemicals in a lock cabinet and remove anything off from the floors that you wouldn't want for your pet to get into. Tie up loose cords and other objects that could potentially harm your pet. It's similar to baby proofing your home. 
  3. Educate your child about pet temperament and animal care. Many pet stores and animal shelters offer training. Talk to other people who have pets as they may offer a lot of insight. 
  4. Help to make your child's pet transition a smooth one. Your child's pet may be frighten or apprehensive at first and your child may want to play with your pet right away. Remind your child to be patient and allow time for the new pet to get use to their new environment. 
  5. Teach your child to be gentle with their new pet. This is one the most important lesson children will need to learn. A great way to teach your child to be gentle to visit friends or relatives with pets. If your child is having difficulty being gentle towards a pet, then it may not be the right time for a pet.
Teaching your child to care and love a pet is fun and a rewarding experience. It also teaches your child responsibility. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Balancing Parenthood and Work

More and more parents are finding themselves traveling for business. When parents travel for work, it may cause a disruption in the child's daily routine and sometimes lead to behavior issues because children don't necessarily understand why mom or dad is away on business. So how can you help your child cope while you are away?

 We have some ideas!

  1. Use Skype or your iPhone to connect with your family at home while you are away. While a phone call is nice, it can be comforting for your child to see your hotel and your current surroundings. This is also a great time to check in with your child about their day, discuss homework and activities.
  2. Because you are away doesn't mean your household should be put on hold. If you have the help available, continue to schedule your child's play dates, dance lessons, etc. Keeping routine in your household will actually help reduce disruption in the household and keep your child busy. 
  3. Keep ready-made meals in the freezer. Home cooked meals are the staple in any household and who wouldn't appreciate a home cooked meal you can just throw in the oven?
  4. Mom and Dad need to be on the same page when either of them is away. Keep a binder with useful information such as medical records, a list of activities for each child, contact numbers of babysitters, physicians, activities, and any other information one might need.
  5. Don't forget to bring a surprise for your child when you return and set aside some "we time" with your child!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Top Preschool Book Picks

Credit to Barnes and Noble

Our children's literature month has come to an end. The children enjoyed the Usborne Book Fair, the Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash,  and the field trips to Barnes and Noble. The children were exposed to so many wonderful book titles and here are some of their favorites.

We Are in a Book by Mo Willems

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling.  Gerald can. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In We Are in a Book!, Gerald and Piggie discover the joy of being read but what will happen when the book ends?

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The bear's hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear's memory and renews his search with a vengeance.  Told completely in dialogue,  this delicious take on the classic repetitive  plays out in sly illustration laced with visual humor--and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. 

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

When Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree, he's determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck and the logical course of action is to throw his other shoe.  Only now it's stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that's only the beginning.

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

George is a dog with all the best intentions and his owner, Harry, has all the best hopes that George will be a well-behaved dog when he leaves him alone for the day. When George spies a delicious cake sitting on the kitchen tabel, his resolve starts to waver. You see, George loves cake. It's so hard to be a good dog when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up! What will Harry say when he gets back?