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124 Newsletter

ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

DONATIONS: If you could please bring in old paper towel or toilet paper rolls we would really appreciate it! We will be making binoculars next week and need rolls for the project. Thank you!

 

Join us on Friday, April 15th from 7:30am-9am for our annual family breakfast in honor of Week of the Young Child

 

 

TIP OF THE WEEK

The Problem-Solving Parent: Those Terrific Twos

By Eleanor Reynolds

Susy, would you like some cereal? NO!

Do you want to play? NO!

Share your toys, O.K? NO!

Do you need to go potty? NO!

Ready for your bath? NO!

Can you get ready for bed? NO!

We're going now, O.K? NO!

No biting, understand? NO!

If your child is somewhere between the ages of one and three, these conversations may sound all too familiar. We expect toddlers to be belligerent and have tantrums, but do they really deserve their bad reputation? What really goes on during the "terrible twos?"

Every toddler strives for autonomy, the sense of having control over his own body, mind, and emotions. A toddler must test his own power in order to become a separate person. During this stage, you have your first real glimpse of the person your child will become. Until now, your child was a helpless, easy-to-control infant. You loved him unconditionally, and he made no demands. Now you're trying to wean him, get him to use the potty, share his toys, and behave in socially acceptable ways. No wonder there is often a clash of wills!

The key to making this stage of development positive is to avoid the "them against us" attitude. Become your child's partner in the adventure of learning about the wonder and complexity of life. As you spend time with your child, you will find that behind every behavior there is a need waiting to be met. In fact, most problems can be solved by identifying the need and looking for appropriate ways to meet that need. This is called setting limits. Help your toddler get her needs met by listening to her and asking yourself, "What is the need behind this behavior? What are the alternatives? Can she learn from this? Is this for her benefit or mine?"

Are the terrible twos inevitable? No, but so much depends on your attitude. Every child is born with an individual temperament. As a parent, you need to help your child find positive and appropriate ways to express her unique temperament. By using the problem-solving approach you can help your child get through the autonomy stage while preserving a strong, close bond and eliminating negative patterns that can last a lifetime. Remember the most enduring reward of "those terrific twos" is the relationship between you and your child.

Problem-Solving Solutions for Negotiating With Toddlers
Tantrums. It's bewildering and embarrassing to see your toddler kicking and screaming, often in public. During a tantrum, a child is overwhelmed and frightened by his own strong feelings. He needs understanding, not punishment. Tell him gently but firmly, "I see how frustrated you are, but I can't let you _________. If you want to kick and scream, I'll stay close until you're finished." Never argue or try to reason during a tantrum. If tantrums become a habit say, "I'm going to leave the room, but when you're finished you can come and talk to me about it." Teach your child the words he needs to express his strong emotions authentically.

Sharing. Imagine a neighbor coming to your house and demanding to borrow your new car. Can we expect children to be more generous and altruistic than we are? Toddlers can't understand the concept of sharing until they've experienced the concept of ownership. When playmates visit, ask your toddler ahead of time which toys she wants to put away in the closet and which ones she is willing to share. Let her know that she's in control of her toys. When you respect her rights, she'll learn to respect the rights of others, and eventually she will learn to share.

Toilet Learning. This is the battleground where many ongoing power struggles begin. You may have a deadline in mind but your child simply is not ready. Some toddlers won't even try until they are sure they can do it perfectly. Leave this decision up to your child and you will avoid unnecessary resentment. Show him how to do it, ask if he wants to, but avoid forcing or pressuring him. Most kids are ready some time after age three. Even if your friends' children start earlier, control yourself. Every child learns to use the toilet and yours will, too.

Eleanor Reynolds is the editor of The Best of the Problem-Solver: Articles for Parents and Teachers and the author of Guiding Young Children: A Problem-Solving Approach. She can be reached by email at problem@blarg.com.

 

 

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Stop That Pickle

This week we did a book study on Stop That Pickle. This book begins when Mrs. Elmira Deeds waddles into Mr. Adolph’s deli and asks for a pickle, and chaos erupts! The pickle escapes from the jar, and a cast of zany characters, including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and seventeen toasted almonds, joins in the chase to stop the pickle as it attempts to run away. Can anyone stop that pickle?

This book is a favorite because there’s a popular line in the book that continues to repeat, “Stop that pickle!” All the children chime in when this part reoccurs in the story.

A favorite sensory activity this week was spreading jelly on bread to make sandwiches. One of the foods in the book is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich chasing the pickle so the children got the opportunity to make their own and practice their fine motor skills.

Another sensory activity that seemed to be a hit was digging for pickles in jar. This activity was easy and fun, as we filled up plastic jars with water, put in some green food coloring, added our cucumber manipulatives, gave the children some spoons and tongs, and they fished out the pickles. 

To end our week, we made our own pretzels with pretzel dough. The children formed their pretzel in the shape they desired, then we baked them in the oven. Not only did the children eat pretzels, but we had a tasting party in which they tasted the majority of the food from the book including grape juice, vanilla ice cream, apple, raisins, doughnut, and jelly sandwiches.

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Birds

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

Newsletter 4-8-16

April 8th, 2016
 Room Announcements

  •  Themed days: Monday: Band Day, Tuesday: Dress like a teacher (children) dress like a toddler (teachers), Wednesday: Painted tee-shirt day, Thursday: Favorite Season Day, Friday: College day (parents included family breakfast day).
  • Anna is turning 2 on Saturday, April 2nd 2016. Happy birthday Anna.
  • Cheryl Dimer will be on vacation Wednesday April 13th-April 15th. We will have all school floaters in those 3 day
  • Homework
  •  Themed days everyday next week!
  • Bring in your child’s favorite toy!  School Announcements
  • Family Breakfast on Friday April 15 from 7:30-9:00. 

 Topic of the Week    My Five Senses                This week the children learned all about their five senses.  The teachers identified throughout the week how they were using each sense.  For example, at mealtimes the teachers would say they were using their sense of taste as they tried new foods. The children enjoyed many new snacks this week as we discussed new vocabulary to describe the sense, taste, ex. Savory, sour, sweet, salty, and spicy.                During art, the children explored their five senses in a variety of creative ways. The children used their sense of touch to finger-paint on bubble wrap. Some older children would pop the bubble wrap and say, “Did you hear that?”                In the sensory table the children enjoyed dancing on contact paper to music. The children also enjoyed exploring our light cube with translucent shapes. The older children would identify the colors they saw.                The highlight of the week was the scented glue and tissue paper on poster board. The children loved smelling different items as they explored glue. Tip of the WeekHealthy SnacksYoungsters are more likely to eat nutritious snacks if they choose and prepare them. For example, let your child top yogurt with blueberries or spread almond butter on whole grain crackers. Bonus: Eating a healthy diet helps her feel better and learn better.  Quotes “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Milton Berle “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” A.A.Milne Did you know?We have an extensive teachers resource library that is available for our teachers to further their knowledge about early childhood care and education.  Next Week: Week of the young childHave a great weekend! Toddler I Staff

 

 

Room 122 Red Newsletter: April 8, 2016

            

Did You Know?

Throughout the year we celebrate with families at festivals and events in the classrooms and school-wide.

                       

SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.  Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th.  If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to eat with each child individually.  If you have any questions please speak with your child’s lead teacher or Reagan Miller our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director.

 

Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of sound! If your child has a favorite item that makes noise, they are welcome to it them in! We will be listening to them at group time.

Clothing: With the weather being typical Chicago weather and going through all four seasons each day, please make sure that your children are prepared for all weather.

 

 

Community Happenings

Music for Kids with Wendy Morgan: April 16, 2016, Morton Grove Public Library

http://www.chicagoparent.com/resources/going-places/destinations/libraries-1/morton-grove-public-library/events/music-for-kids-with-wendy-morgan http://mgpl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails.aspx?EventId=1430&lib=0

                               

 

 

Tip of the Week

Toddlers, Tantrums and Time-In’s, Oh My!

From The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline by L.R. Knost

 When a little person feels frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain old out-of-sorts (read: tantrum time!) it’s tempting for parents to focus on correction rather than connection. But when children are intensely stressed, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which in early childhood is an underdeveloped, mushy grey sponge waiting to be formed, is flooded with cortisol, the ‘stress hormone.’ The result is what is known as the fight-freeze-or-flight syndrome in which higher brain functions (learning, reason, self-control) are markedly hampered and lower brain functions (instinct, physical reactions) take over. This is an in-built survival mechanism that gradually comes under conscious control through years of growth in a safe and supportive environment. Interestingly, it is theorized that this underdeveloped ‘sponginess’ is why small children are able to learn new languages more quickly than older children and adults. They are, in a very literal way, absorbing information raw, unhampered by the processing and reason of a more mature brain.

Expecting young children to have the maturity and self-control to overcome this God-given survival instinct is unrealistic. Threatening, punishing, or even reasoning with them while their higher brain functions are suppressed is futile and actually just adds more stress to the situation (more stress = fuel on the tantrum-fire!).

What they really need is help…

·                     First, help coping with their big emotions

·                     Then, help reconnecting with their source of safety and security (you!)

·                     And last, help processing the problem that sent them into a maelstrom of emotion in the first place.

Punishing them, yelling at them, sending them to their room, or putting them in time-out disconnects them even further from their source of security and not only delays a resolution of the issue, but misses an opportunity to equip them with the tools they need to handle future problems.

This is where the Three C’s of gentle discipline come into play.

Connection:

·                     Remaining present and supportive until they are able to calm down enough to accept your help

·                     Drawing them close when they’re ready (time-in)

Communication:

·                     Validating their emotions by labeling them and empathizing (i.e. “You’re sad because we have to leave the park. I’m sad, too. The park is fun!”)

·                     Offering words to help them express their frustrations using reflective language (i.e. “It’s hard to do things we don’t like, isn’t it?”)

Cooperation:

·                     Helping them move on by redirecting their attention to the future (i.e. “When we get home we’re going to make a snack. Would you like grapes or bananas today?”)

·                     Modeling coping skills and self-control by calming your own reaction to their meltdown and helping them process their big emotions

These are all ways of reconnecting with your toddler or preschooler to help them successfully navigate their present difficulty as well as to cope with difficulties they’re confronted with in the future.

One effective tool for use in helping little ones cope with big emotions is a Calm-Me-Jar made from small, round, plastic bottles such as AquapodTM water bottles. They are perfect for small hands to shake and manhandle to their heart’s content.

To make your own Calm-Me-Jar, fill up a plastic water bottle with warm water and basic craft glitter glue in whatever color you like. You can add some extra glitter and a drop of food coloring to customize your glitter jar to your child’s tastes, and then when you have the look you want, be sure to hot glue the top on to prevent spills.

When my little ones have meltdowns, or, if I can catch it, before they reach that point, I pull out one of the Calm-Me-Jars and shake it up and just let them hold it while I hold them (when they are ready to be held) and talk or sing quietly. When I feel their body relaxing and their breathing slow down, I might say something like, “It’s sad when we can’t have a toy, isn’t it?” or whatever else will reflect what they seem to be unable to express.

When an older preschooler or early elementary-aged child has a meltdown, or, again, before if I can catch it, I first connect, “I’m here. I can see you’re upset. How can I help?” and listen as they try to verbalize their feelings. If they’re having trouble with the words, instead of immediately supplying the words for them, I’ll offer them a Calm-Me-Jar and ask if they’d like to show me how they’re feeling. They will often shake the Calm-Me-Jar vigorously while jumping up and down and twisting all around, which is a great physical outlet for their intense feelings. I watch until I see their movements slowing and their breathing evening out, and when they’ve calmed just enough to hear me, I quietly talk them through the calming process, “Look at all that fairy dust bouncing around like crazy! I bet that’s how it feels inside when you’re so upset. Look at how it’s starting to slow down and settle to the bottom. If we breathe really slowly, we can feel ourselves settling like the fairy dust. Want to try it with me?” Then, if there are any behavior issues we need to address, we’ll work through those afterward when they’re calm, connected, and capable of interacting and understanding.

Here’s an example of how Calm-Me-Jars are helpful in ‘listening between the lines’ to my children’s behavior so I can meet them where they are and help them process their big feelings:

My five-year-old is a tiny girl with BIG emotions, and she really likes using Calm-Me-Jars to work through her feelings. We’ve put several together such as a silvery one she named Goodnight Moon, a light blue one she named Nemo Under the Sea, a pink one she named Hello Kitty Princess Ballerina, and a dark blue one she named Starry, Starry Night. When she is mad at one of her siblings, she’ll often bring me one of her Calm-Me-Jars (Goodnight Moon is a favorite in the evening!) and work out some of her upset physically by shaking the jar like crazy while she jumps up and down and tells me how mad she is. When she’s a bit calmer, we’ll have a little cuddle and watch the glitter settle while saying goodnight to the moon, all the furniture, and whatever other silliness we come up with until she’s calm. If there’s a discipline issue or she needs some help working things out with a sibling, we’ll work through it at that point because I know that’s when she can hear me and really process what I’m saying. If she chooses Starry, Starry Night we might sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or step outside and see if there are any stars out yet. If she decides on Hello Kitty Princess Ballerina she’ll often dance her frustrations away while shaking her Calm-Me-Jar. And if she picks out Nemo Under the Sea we’ll ‘speak whale’ like Dory from Finding Nemo or we’ll make fishy faces at each other until we’re both giggling.

As you can see, my feisty little girl’s choice of Calm-Me-Jar shows me what she needs to do to work through her emotions of the moment, whether it’s to act things out physically in acceptable ways or to connect through song or through silliness.

The key is being in tune with your little one enough to understand their personality and work with it instead of against it. My five-year-old is spunky and silly, so having a long, serious talk would drive her crazy and accomplish nothing. We quickly decide together how she’ll approach whatever the problem was the next time she encounters it, and then she’s ready to move on, whereas when some of my older ones were little they really liked to talk things through (and still do!). My toddler, on the other hand, doesn’t have tantrums because that simply isn’t part of her own unique personality, but she’s still fascinated by her Calm-Me-Jar and loves to sit with me and watch the “pintess faywe dut” (“princess fairy dust”) glitter settle when she’s feeling a bit cranky or out-of-sorts.

Remember, there is no cure for tantrums because they are simply a normal result of a normal developmental stage of childhood. Trying to avoid tantrum triggers (tiredness, hunger, overstimulation, etc.) is always a good first step, along with remaining in-tune, responsive, and available, but when all else fails and a tantrum does occur, reacting with an adult tantrum is tantamount to throwing fuel on a toddler-tantrum-fire. So instead of losing it when your little one loses it, take an adult time-out, breathe deeply to gain control of your own emotions, and then grab the Three C’s of gentle discipline from your parenting toolbox and work with your child, not against them.

“Reactors react to a crisis with a meltdown. Responders respond to a crisis with help. To raise a mature, stable adult, be a first responder, not a nuclear reactor!” ~ L.R.Knost

Curriculum Update:

The Five Senses: Smell

            The children’s noses were on high alert this week! We made goop that smelled like cinnamon that the children made “pancakes” with. The children glued all different spices such as nutmeg, oregano, cinnamon, onion powder, and basil to paper. Next the children made cloud dough (cornstarch and conditioner) for the sensory table, they have been making “cupcakes” and all sorts of food with the scented dough. The children became little chefs when we made playdough and added pinches of different teas and spices, the children then kneaded the dough and mixed in all the spices. The children also painted with flowers. The noses were on full overload this week! Ask your child about all the fun smells they liked and disliked!

Next Week: The Five Senses: Sound  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Room 122Red Newsletter: April 1, 2016

Did You Know?

Our school has a beautiful, inviting environment that respects our sense of order and provides a refreshing, cheerful place to spend our days.

SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS

 Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.  Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th.  If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to eat with each child individually.  If you have any questions please speak with your child’s lead teacher or Reagan Miller our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director.

Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of smell! If your child has a favorite scent or smell , they are welcome tobring them in! We will be smelling them at group time.

 

Community Happenings

Family Day Jam: April 9, 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art.  https://mcachicago.org/Calendar/2016/04/Family-Day-Jam

                               

Tip of the Week

MUD IS GOOD! Ten Easy Ways to Connect Your Family to the Joy of Nature

by Richard Louv

Short on Vitamin N? Here’s a brief list of nature activities to help you connect your kids, and yourself, to the health, cognitive and creative benefits of nature time — benefits that will help your child succeed in school and throughout life.
 

1. Invite native flora and fauna into your life. Maintain a birdbath. Replace part of your lawn with native plants. Build a bat house. For backyard suggestions, plus links to information about attracting wildlife to apartments and townhouses, see the National Audubon Society’s Invitation to a Healthy Yard. Make your yard a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Wildlife Habitat.
 

2. Revive old traditions. Collect lightning bugs at dusk, release them at dawn. Make a leaf collection. Keep a terrarium or aquarium. Go crawdadding — tie a piece of liver or bacon to a string, drop it into a creek or pond, wait until a crawdad tugs. Put the garden hose to good use: make a mud hole. (Your kids will sleep well later.)
 

3. Help your child discover a hidden universe. Find a scrap board and place it on bare dirt. Come back in a day or two, carefully lift the board (watch for unfriendly critters), and see how many species have found shelter there. Identify these creatures with the help of a field guide. Return to this universe once a month, lift the board and discover who’s new.
 

4. Encourage your kids to go camping in the backyard.Buy them a tent or help them make a canvas tepee, and leave it up all summer.
 

5. Take a hike. With younger children, choose easier, shorter routes and prepare to stop often. Or be a stroller explorer. “If you have an infant or toddler, consider organizing a neighborhood stroller group that meets for weekly nature walks,” suggests the National Audubon Society. The American Hiking Society offers good tips on how to hike with teenagers. Involve your teen in planning hikes; prepare yourselves physically for hikes, and stay within your limits (start with short day hikes); keep pack weight down. For more information, consult the American Hiking Society or a good hiking guide, such as John McKinney’s Joy of Hiking. In urban neighborhoods, put on daypacks and go on a mile hike to look for nature. You’ll find it — even if it’s in the cracks of a sidewalk.
 

6. Be a cloudspotter or build a backyard weather station.No special shoes or drive to the soccer field is required for “clouding.” A young person just needs a view of the sky (even if it’s from a bedroom window) and a guidebook. Cirrostratus, cumulonimbus, or lenticularis, shaped like flying saucers, “come to remind us that the clouds are Nature’s poetry, spoken in a whisper in the rarefied air between crest and crag,” writes Gavin Pretor-Pinney in his wonderful book The Cloudspotter’s Guide. To build a backyard weather station, read The Kid’s Book of Weather Forecasting, by Mark Breen, Kathleen Friestad, and Michael Kline.
 

7. Collect stones. Even the youngest children love gathering rocks, shells, and fossils. To polish stones, use an inexpensive lapidary machine-a rock tumbler. See Rock and Fossil Hunter, by Ben Morgan.
 

8. Encourage your kids to build a tree house, fort, or hut.You can provide the raw materials, including sticks, boards, blankets, boxes, ropes, and nails, but it’s best if kids are the architects and builders. The older the kids, the more complex the construction can be. For understanding and inspiration, read Children’s Special Places, by David Sobel.Treehouses and Playhouses You Can Build, by David and Jeanie Stiles describes how to erect sturdy structures, from simple platforms to multi-story or multi-tree houses connected by rope bridges.
 

9. Plant a garden. If your children are little, choose seeds large enough for them to handle and that mature quickly, including vegetables. Whether teenagers or toddlers, young gardeners can help feed the family, and if your community has a farmers’ market, encourage them to sell their extra produce. Alternatively, share it with the neighbors or donate it to a food bank. If you live in an urban neighborhood, create a high-rise garden. A landing, deck, terrace, or flat roof typically can accommodate several large pots, and even trees can thrive in containers if given proper care.
 

10. Invent your own nature game. One mother’s suggestion: “We help our kids pay attention during longer hikes by playing ‘find ten critters’—mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, snails, other creatures. Finding a critter can also mean discovering footprints, mole holes, and other signs that an animal has passed by or lives there.”

Richard Louv is chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network and author of LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. His ninth book, VITAMIN N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Lifewill be published in April.

 

Curriculum Update:

The Five Senses: Touch

            The children were actively engaged in the topic of Touch.  They explored a surprise box by placing their hands inside.  Items with different textures were placed inside and they were encouraged to describe the texture and what they thought it was.  The children strengthened the muscles in their hands squeezing and squishing play dough. They then used Popsicle sticks with different textures to make prints in the play dough. The children were most excited about taking off their socks and shoes and going on a texture walk. They stepped on bubble wrap, sticky contact paper, bumpy, rough, smooth and soft surfaces.  The activity soon evolved into a sensory crawl with the children army crawling across the surfaces on their stomaches and even on their backs.

Next Week: The Five Senses: Smell   

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Toddler One Newsletter April 1, 2016

Room Announcements

Room 123: Happy Birthday Luca Bende! Luca will be 2 years old on April 2nd!

Room 123: We would like to welcome George Merrell, Carter Royzen, Ethan Stern, and Hasnain Valika and their families to the classroom! 

Room 121: We would like to welcome Asher Baer and his family to the classroom!

Reminder: Please bring in a plain white t-shirt for your child to paint by Wednesday, April 6. 

School Announcements

Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th, 7:30-9am. Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th. If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to each with each child individually. Check the Director's letter for other Week of the Young Child festivities. If you have any questions, please speak with your child's lead teacher or Reagan Miller, our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director. 

Topic of the Week

    This week, the children learned about feelings and emotions. While reading different stories at group time, the children learned to identify different emotions based on the faces a character was making, whether they were happy or sad. The children also practiced making their own expressions while looking in mirrors to see what they look like when they are happy, frustrated, sad, or excited. 

    For a wonderful sensory experience, the children enjoyed playing with play dough scented with essential oils. Lavender is known to have a calming effect, while lemon is a mood and energy booster. A favorite art activity was to first paint poster boards different colors to represent emotions (red for anger, yellow for happiness, blue for sadness) and then create a collage of pictures expressing these same emotions. 

Tip of the Week

Moments Make Memories

    When hectic schedules leave you short on time, use small everyday moments to show your child you love him. That impromptu game of sock basketball while sorting laundry or the “serious” discussion about superheroes while shampooing his hair give you a chance to interact with each other beyond the chores. Plus, you’ll create happy memories that make your child feel special and included. 

Quote of the Week

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

Did You Know?

We value the partnerships that we have with our families and recognize the importance of meaningful two-way communication.

 

Next Week: The 5 Senses

Have a great weekend!

Toddler 1 Staff

Room 124 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER

March 24, 2016

 ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Vacation: Liz will be on vacation next Monday and Tuesday. We will see her again on Wednesday!

 TIP OF THE WEEK

Lets Make Music

Playing and hearing music can increase your child’s listening skills, memory, and coordination. There’s evidence that it helps with reading and math too. Inspire your child to enjoy music with these easy tips at home:

o       Tap out 3 or 4 notes on a toy keyboard or xylophone, and see if your child can copy you. He’ll need to listen carefully and remember the notes you played. Then, let him play notes for you to copy.

o       Help your child make a drum. You can use construction paper and tape to cover a coffee or oatmeal canister and then decorate it with crayons. Put on some music and have him use wooden spoons to play to the beat of the song.

o       Find an old water bottle and refill it with a material that can make noise such as rice, noodles or beans. Let your child decorate the bottle then wala! You’ve created a shaker.

o       Play a variety of music for your child and explain the different genres.

 

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Music

This week we talked about music! We explained to the children that there are many different types of genres of music and we played a sample of each. The children are aware that music is created with instruments and/or singing. We had a lot of dancing going on in our room this week as the children listened to music while they played. One of their favorite special activities was listening to individual instruments played on the phone and guessing what instrument it was. Another favorite activity was covering a large drum with paper, adding paint to the top, then using recycled paper towel rolls and banging away- creating art masterpieces along with music.

 

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Rain

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

Room 122 Red: Newsletter: March 24, 2016

 

                                                                                           

Did You Know?

Karen Crawford is a registered nurse and has been Nielsen’s health nurse consultant since January 2004. She graduated from Northern University.

                       

Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of touch! If you have any fun and interesting textured items around your house that you would like to share with the classroom please bring them in!

Staff Vacations: Margaret will be off on Monday 3/28 and Mariellen will be off Wed-Friday 3/30-4/1.  Jill will be the sub.

 

Community Happenings

Autism Awareness Day: Brookfield Zoo Saturday April 2nd.

http://www.chicagoparent.com/resources/going-places/finding-nature/zoos/brookfield-zoo/events/autism-awareness-day

 

Tip of the Week

The Most Important Skill to Teach Children

By Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.

http://nurtureandthriveblog.com/

Today I’m talking about the skill I believe to be the (Dare I say it?) MOST important skill to teach children.  To call it one skill, however, is a little misleading. It’s really a set of skills– a whole host of skills. At the center of those skills is the ability to control something– a behavior, a thought, movement, or a feeling.

Generally, this is called self-regulation. But I am also talking about executive function (control in the brain), emotion-regulation (control of feelings) as well as behavioral regulation (control of actions & movement).

Most of you have probably heard about the marshmallow test in which a researcher will ask a young child (usually between ages 3 and 5) if they would like one or two marshmallows which are placed on a plate in front of them. Then the researcher devises a reason to leave the room and the child is presented with a choice before the researcher leaves: they can eat one marshmallow now or wait until the researcher returns and then they can have two. This is technically called ‘delay of gratification’ or the ability to suppress an impulse (eat that lovely marshmallow) in order to meet another goal– listen to the authority figure of the researcher and wait.

Delay of gratification is only one self-regulation skill, albeit the most well-known one, and it has been linked to many outcomes– children who wait longer are more sociable, have better grades, and even better SAT scores years later. There are also brain differences between the children who were better at delaying and those who were not as good at waiting. Self-regulation is partially genetic– some children will naturally be better regulated than others, however, self-regulation is very teachable as well.

Here are FIVE key ways to nurture self-regulation in your children.

1. Use naturally occurring situations to teach strategies for self-regulation.

Waiting to open holiday presents, birthday presents, not sticking her fingers in her friend’s birthday cake before it is served, or waiting for a special anticipated activity are all teachable moments for self-regulation.

§                  First, realize that these situations are truly challenging for younger children. Before the event or situation, explain they will have to wait and why waiting is important.

§                  During the waiting process, offer ways for your child to distract themselves and help them to wait. What studies about self-regulation have shown is that it isn’t about the child having the sheer willpower to wait, but instead having lots of strategies to distract themselves while they wait. Do something else, sing a song, tell a story etc.

§                  Recognize it if they struggle, “Sometimes it feels hard to wait. When you are waiting you can do something else.” When I tell my son he has to wait for a special treat, he will say- “But can I just look at it, can I just touch it?” I say, “Let’s take a quick look and then let’s do something else, it is harder to wait when you are looking at it.” In doing that, I acknowledge his desire and offer a strategy to help him regulate.

2. Realize it is just as important to let go of control. 

One of my favorite quotes from researchers who study self-regulation is this:

“The human goal is to be as under-controlled as possible and over-controlled as necessary”— Block & Kremen (1996).

As parents, we spend ALOT of time trying to teach our children to control impulses. It is easy to forget that it is just as important to let them be “under-controlled” for lack of a better term.

I loved it when I would return to the room as a researcher in those delay of gratification studies and the kids would stuff both marshmallows in their mouth as happy as could be, no restraint at all. They waited until I came back and then they reveled in the fact of being able to enjoy those marshmallows.

In other cases, kids would seemingly do a good job waiting, but when I came back in the room they were over-controlled and anxious. Those kids could hardly enjoy the marshmallow. So, it isn’t just about waiting or controlling, it’s about being flexible in that control — able to control impulses when needed and letting loose when we can. If you notice your kids being pretty controlled and tending towards anxiety make it your mission to help them learn that sometimes it is okay to let loose.

Teaching your children when to let go of control is equally important as teaching them when to be in control. One of my favorite family traditions is that on your birthday you wake up to everyone in the family singing, presents and a sweet treat. Why on your birthday should you have to wait all day for presents and cake?

 

 

3. Remember self-regulation skills develop over years. 

Generally speaking, the organization of the brain system that underlies self-regulation occurs around the age of three. This system goes through a period of rapid development until about the age of five. After the age of five, the development brain areas associated with self-regulation slows down until puberty when a second brain growth spurt means a whole new level of regulation skills will need to be organized and learned in adolescence.

So, all those teachable moments will add up over the years. There may be times when you feel like you don’t see any progress — it develops slowly and gradually. It is one of those things where you’ll see effects much later.

Right now, I see my role as simply noticing when my son struggles and helping him through it.

For example, I love that my son has such determination– but he also gets incredibly frustrated. He will be trying to connect trucks together with Lego pieces and when it doesn’t work he screams and gets upset, but he WILL NOT give up. I want him to retain that feeling of determination, but he also has to learn to manage his frustration (don’t we all?).

I try different strategies (Three quick Tips to Help Kids Calm Down)  to get him to take a little break, sometimes I’ll even offer a snack, and then we will go back to his project. Often, he can either accomplish what he wanted to do or he will come up with an alternative. That way, I hopefully preserved that wonderful tendency for determination and helped him manage frustration. When he is older, he will be able to manage that frustration on his own, well, until he is a teenager, but let me get through threenager first! And that’s one reason behind the threenager/teenager comparison. Both, on different levels, are struggling with self-regulation.

4. Have your child make a choice and a plan.

Cognitively a well-regulated older child would be able to look through a set of options and make a reasoned decision. Or, faced with a wide array of possibilities, that child could make a plan. When it comes to well-regulated thought our goal for our children is that they can organize their thoughts and work through problems in a logical way. Cognitively they would be able to sort through the chaos, so to speak, and inhibit distractions in the meantime.

How do we foster this when they are young? I had a professor once who said, “No child is ever too young to make a choice, carrots or peas? Which one do they spit out the least?” Providing your child with plenty of opportunities for making choices — do you want to walk to the playground or play in the backyard? Will you have milk or water? Which pair of tennis shoes will you wear today? Gives them the practice they need to develop decision-making skills.

At younger ages remember to give a choice between two options and as they grow, increase the options. Also, give your child the opportunity to make a plan. This morning we are staying home we can do any of these things- what would you like to do first, second and third? My Aunt took her preteen and teenage sons to New York City once for vacation and she told me each son got a day to plan. They planned what they would do and she gave them a subway map so they could plan the route as well. I think this is a great activity for older kids. It is the same idea with younger kids as well– to plan and map out an activity is a great exercise in cognitive regulation.

5. Play control games.

Any game that asks kids to control something is fostering self-regulation. Anytime they have to suppress something. Like a whisper game, slow down speed up, the freeze game/dance, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, and similar. See my post on more of my favorite games for self-regulation here. Also, make believe play has been shown to be linked to self-regulation. And just plain old free play. Yep, they are naturally equipped to learn self-regulation just through unstructured free play, we are along for nudges and helping through the struggles, but giving time and space for play may be the best thing we can do.

 

Curriculum Update:

Colors

            This week Kim has kept us very busy with the sense of sight! The children pretended to be eye doctors while using the eye test to try and see all the letters. For art this week the children made collages with feathers, foam shapes, and shiny shapes; created eruptions using baking soda vinegar and food coloring; painted with glitter paint; and did the “exploding colors” in milk and put their milk design on paper! The children also decorated homemade binoculars and took them outside to see what they could find on our playground! During group time the children determined their own eye color then used a chart to see how many children in the class had each eye color. The children also played a guessing game of “Who Does the Eye Belong To?” There was a picture of an animal covered by black paper, all that was showing was an eye and the children had to guess what the animal the eye belonged to. The children then lifted the paper to reveal the entire face of the animal and saw if they were correct! This proved to be quite tricky.

Next Week: The Five Senses  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Newsletter- March 25, 2016

Toddler One Newsletter

Room Announcements

  • Please bring in a white shirt for your child to decorate.

Topic of the Week:

Technology

This week the children were immersed in how technology is involved in their everyday environments. During group time, the teachers read stories such as Spot Bakes A Cake by: Eric Hill and learned that the ovens in our homes are powered by technology in order to bake and cook food. Children enjoyed listening to magnet boards such as, "The Transportation Song" where they were able to view pictures of boats, trains, planes, etc, and learned how these ways of transportation help us get from one point to another use different forms of technology.  For sensory, the children were able to interact with technology while playing with our light cube. The children observed how it changed colors and how it looked as a backdrop for different objects held against it.  During art activities the children were able to use different materials to paint on pasteboard and construction paper. Materials like, blocks, tooth brushes, and cups. 

Tip Of The Week

Raise A Grateful Child

  • Tell them "Thank you".
  • Let them see and hear you thanking others, modeling behavior is one of the best ways a child learns.
  • Do not give in to everything your child wants. When limiting the items children want, will allow them to appreciate the things they have. 
  • Discuss the difference between a "want" and a "need" with your children. 

Quote of the Week

" A children's story that is only enjoyed by children, is a bad children's story."

                                                                                              -C.S. Lewis

Did You Know?

Even in a group setting, teachers are able to base curriculum and activities upon each child's individual developmental abilities. 

Next Week: Feelings/Emotions

Have a wonderful weekend!

Toddler One Staff

 

Room 122 Red Newsletter: March 18, 2016

 

                                                                                           

Did You Know?

In hosting parent seminars, we regularly work with our staff and outside experts in the community to cover topics of interest to parents.

                       

 

Room Announcements

 

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Student Teacher Takeover: Our student teacher from Oakton Community College, Naeun Kim will be taking over and implementing the curriculum for Sight and Touch. 

 

 

 

Community Happenings

Pets Unleashed: Now through May 1st.

http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/index.php/experience/pets-unleashed

 

Tip of the Week

Want Calmer, Happier Kids? Simplify Their World

By Sandy Kreps

http://www.greenchildmagazine.com

As parents, we’re in charge of our family’s daily lives, everything from the schedule of events for the week to the environment where we work, play and rest. We build the structure and set the rhythm for the days, and a lack of routines, excessive toys and clutter, chaotic schedules, and an overload of information can bring even the closest family down.

Children are happiest and flourish when they have the time and space to explore their world without the constraints of “too much.”

“Too much” is overwhelming and stressful, whether it’s too much stuff, too much information, too many activities, too many choices, or too much speed – always hurrying from one task to the next, never a moment to relax or play. Having and doing too much can overwhelm a kid and lead to unnecessary stress at home and in the classroom.

Simplifying a child’s routine and cutting down on their information and activity overload, as well as excessive toy and clutter piles, could help over-stimulated kids become less argumentative and disruptive.

When you simplify a child’s world, you make space for positive growth, creativity and relaxation.

“Many of today’s behavioral issues come from children having too much stuff and living a life that is too fast,” says Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids.

Payne says that many American kids are experiencing sensory overload with “too many trinkets, too many choices and too much information.” By approaching parenting using simplicity as a framework, parents may be able to significantly reduce a child’s daily stress, which can lead to happier, more successful children.

The easiest way to get started is with your home environment. “As you decrease the quantity of your child’s toys and clutter, you increase their attention and their capacity for deep play. Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds,” says Payne.

Clear Some of the “Stuff”

When clearing out toys, focus on keeping a mix of toys that your kids consistently enjoy and that keep them entertained for long periods of time. Often, kids’ favorite toys are simple, classic toys without lots of bells and whistles – stuffed animals, dolls, building toys such as Legos, trains and cars, dress-up clothes, and arts and crafts materials.

Whittle down books to a handful of favorites that can be savored, and remove the rest to create a “library” to find new reads one or two at a time. Add in some fabric, string or pillows for creating forts and playhouses, then give your kids some time to adjust and create their own play world from this simple selection of toys.

Make Downtime a Priority

Another area to make some changes is your daily “rhythm” of events – children are comforted when they know what to expect each day. Your rhythm doesn’t need to be a strict schedule, but a predictable flow from lunch to rest time to outdoor playtime, and so on, helps a child know what comes next and helps the day transition smoothly.

Along the same lines, simplifying your family’s schedule can reduce the frantic feeling of always being on the go. Kids with a full plate of school work, extracurricular activities or sports each day may feel stressed and chaotic since they’re lacking the free time children need for creative play and exploration.  And when you set effective screen time limits, you’ll keep your child distraction-free and help her learn to find joy in the present moment.

As a parent “taxi,” you probably aren’t feeling all that relaxed either. Cutting back to just one or two of your child’s favorite activities can give them the freedom not only to have that time to play and explore, but also the time to actually practice and focus on the activities they do choose to partake in.

Reducing the physical clutter, setting predictable rhythms and streamlining activities has benefits for parents too. “As parents, we also define ourselves by what we bring our attention and presence to. This is easy to forget when daily life feels more like triage,” says Payne. By simplifying, we can concentrate on what we really value, not just spend our days reacting to everything the world throws at us.

Simplification is an ongoing process, not something that can be completed in an afternoon or weekend. It takes time to reduce possessions, change habits and develop new rhythms. It’s not easy to change directions when your whole family is moving at the speed of light and the chaos always feels like it’s creeping in. Begin slowly, with small changes and an eye toward what you want your family life to look like.

Simplifying is about finding a place of balance as you move away from “too much.” Only with less can children figure out what they truly like and want.

 

 

Curriculum Update:

Colors

            This week we concluded our topic on colors. The children created rainbow art when they squeezed and squished paint on paper that was in Ziploc bags. The children wanted to decorate their cubby shapes.  The children used the window to the parking lot to play a guessing game, taking turns guessing what color truck would come by next. They spotted many different colors, but purple and pink trucks did not seem to be among them. Playing “I Spy” has become a game that can occupy the children for long periods of time. They use their critical thinking skills to guess the objects described by color. We added some other type clues as well, such as this is found in water or this has wheels when the children were stumped.

Next Week: The Five Senses  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Newsletter Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016

Newsletter- Friday, March 18, 2016

Newsletters

Toddler One Newsletter

 

Room Announcements:

*PLEASE bring a white tee-shirt for your child to decorate

*Room 123: Wednesday, MARCH 16TH: Owen Chen turned two! Happy Birthday!

Theme Days

Thursday- wacky socks or hat day

 

 School Announcements:

*School REMINDER: School is closed 3/25/16 for spring break day

 

Topic of the Week:

Colors of the Rainbow

 

This week the children were introduced to the colors of the rainbow!  

During group time the children enjoyed singing "Rainbow Shining Overhead" and "I Can Sing a Rainbow".  One of the children's favorite activities from group time was guessing what rainbow items were hidden in the Wonder Box. We hid colorful scarves, balls, and magnet balloons inside. Some of the children imitated this activity on the carpet during their free time.

In art, the children colored on our windows using special markers. We also colored with markers on poster board to the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

Thank you to our parents that participated in our rainbow hand print activity! The children observed the colors as the paint mixed and noticed the difference in handprint size. 

The children enjoyed exploring the concepts of sink and float in our sensory table using rainbow colored balls and chips.

We also discussed the new colors that were made as we mixed colored goop. The children enjoyed the texture of the goop and seeing how it changed colors!  

The children also discussed the beautiful colors of our skin while playing with the multi-cultural people and scarves. 

 

Tip of the Week:

Wonder what’s inside?

THERE ARE MANY WAYS YOU CAN explore your child’s interests. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS:

 

*CONTACT YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER and ask what your child enjoys at school.

 

*learn some favorite school songs, they are attached to the weekly lesson plans.

 

* The Wonder Box: Many of our children imitate the movements of this song from group time using a stick, a klave, or their finger. This fun game is attached to our lesson plan.

 

*TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT

OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE CLASSROOM.

 

*STAY UP TO DATE ON WHAT YOUR CHILD IS

LEARNING AT SCHOOL. EXPLORE SOMETHING NEW

WITH YOUR CHILD OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL RELATED

TO THE TOPIC.

 

*HAVE FUN LEARNING WITH YOUR CHILD!

 

Quote of the Week

“The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.”

                                        -Northdrop Frye

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Our program prides themselves on promoting independence and on building children’s self confidence and self-esteem.

 

NEXT WEEK: Technology and Engineering

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

TODDLER I STAFF

Tagged: TODDLER I 121 REDTODDLER I – 123 RED

 

124 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER

March 18, 2016

 ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

School Closing: We will be closed on Friday, March 25th for a spring break day.

 TIP OF THE WEEK

Must Have Products For Toddlers

Faucet Extender: Make hand washing even easier by attaching a faucet extender to the bathroom sink. The Aqueduck Single Handle Faucet Extender is a two-piece system that brings the water flow closer to the front of the sink and provides an extension to the faucet lever so kids can turn the water on and off easily after going potty.

Training Underwear: When your child begins toilet learning, introduce your toddler to his or her first pair of washable big child underwear. Gerber Training Pants feature covered elastic waistlines, making them easy for children to pull up and down. Tucked inside are 100 percent cotton panels to absorb accidents. These training pants are available in sizes 18 months, 2T and 3T.

Two-Piece Pajamas: Make evening and morning visits to the potty simpler with two-piece PJs that pull off and on easily. Carter's offers several adorable cotton top and polyester pants sets to keep kids warm and ready to use the potty at a moment's notice.

Toilet Learning Seat: Keep your little one safe and cozy during their time on the big potty. The Disappearing Potty Seat attaches to your existing toilet seat and tucks up into the lid via magnets when not in use. The slow-closing lid keeps little fingers from getting pinched.

Two-Piece Swim Suits: Playing in the pool with a toddler can often mean frequent potty breaks. Keep trips to the bathroom quick and simple by slipping your little one into a two-piece swimsuit. The Cabana Life Swim Shorts and Rashguard Set also offers long sleeves for optimal sun protection.

Stepping Stool: Once your toddler discovers how to make those little legs move, he'll be everywhere! The Graco Molded Step Stool makes it easy for him to reach the big potty, wash his hands at the sink, help you at the kitchen counter, and get in and out of his big kid bed. This stool offers a no-slip grip for tiny toes to stay put and a non-skid bottom to keep the stool securely in place.

Bathtub Spout Cover: Rub a dub dub, if you don't want any bumps in the tub, cover the faucet. The Kel-Gar Tubbly Bubbly elephant- or hippo-shaped bathtub spout cover allows water to flow while protecting your toddler's fingers from hot metal faucet spouts or accidental bruises and bumps when playing near the fixture during bath time.

 

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Fruit

This week we talked all about fruit! We explained to the children that a fruit is part of a plant that comes from the flower. In addition, a rule of thumb is that a fruit always has seeds. Some fruits that people get confused for vegetables include beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados and even corn kernels. The children were all about to sort and distinguish the difference between fruits and vegetables on their lunch plates and through our flannel board called “Oh, Mr.Rabbit.” Through discussions and reading books the children learned that fruit is grown on farms and they come from plants. However, different fruits come from different plants. They learned that bananas, oranges and apples grow on trees. Melons grow from vines. And berries grow on bushes.

One of the children’s favorite sensory activities was exploring fruit through their very own hands-on activity. We gave them safe pumpkin carving knives and they carved away, noticing seeds, skin and flesh. To end the week off with a bang, we did a class cooking project in which we made a fruit salad! The children were able to pour in a variety of fruit into a large bowl and mix it together with a spoon. They ate up every last bit!

 

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Music and Instruments

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

Newsletter- Friday, March 11, 2016

Toddler One Newsletter

 

Room Announcements:

Theme Days

Monday- Favorite Color Day

Tuesday- Red and Yellow Day

Wednesday- Blue and Purple Day

Thursday- Green and Orange Day

Friday- College Day

 

School Announcements:

*Reminder: Day light savings is

Sunday, March 13th. Spring Ahead!

*Thursday, March 17th: Karen Crawford,

our school nurse, will be joining us

from 4:30-5: 45pm for a Meet and

Greet Discussion. Please come with any

questions/ concerns you have regarding

your child's health, safety and/ or first aid.  

*Please sign-up at the front desk for individual pictures

if you are interested in school pictures.

* School is closed Friday, March 25th for

Spring Break Day.

 

Topic of the Week:

Women in History

 

This week we have been learning all

about women in our lives and why they are

so special.

 

At group time, the children enjoyed

looking at pictures of their teachers,

mothers, sisters and peers. As we looked

at the pictures we talked about why these

people are so important. Each child at

group time held a picture of a special

woman that changed the world.

 

Some of our favorite art and sensory

activities this week were painting with

gorillas and multicultural people in

oats. The children learned about full and

empty while filling and dumping small

containers. We also practiced identifying

colors as we looked at our multicultural

peoples clothing. We look forward to

continuing exploring colors with our

Rainbow Unit next week.

 

Tip of the Week:

Parent Power

 

There are many ways you can support

your child’s learning and school. Here

are some ideas:

 

*Contact your child’s teacher immediately

if you see a problem. Working together

will help your child succeed.

 

*Attend conferences, parent meetings, and

school events regularly.

 

*Take advantage of parent involvement

opportunities within the classroom.

 

*Stay up to date on what your child is

learning at school. Explore something new

with your child outside of school related

to the topic.

 

*Have fun learning with your child!

 

Quote of the Week

“Without Rain there would be no
rainbows.”
                                        -Anonymous

 

Did You Know?

The Nielsen Center is play based and

encourages children’s learning through

exploration and discovery.

 

Next Week: Rainbows

Have a great week!

Toddler I Staff

Room 122 Red Newsletter: March 11, 2016

 

                                                                                           

Did You Know?

The Curriculum is literacy-rich, play-based, and project-oriented.

                       

 

Room Announcements

 

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

 

 

 

Community Happenings

Bubble Festival: March 19, 2016 10am-5pm.

http://www.chicagoparent.com/resources/going-places/museums/science/discovery-center-museum/events/bubble-festival-

 

 

Tip of the Week

10 Things Children Need to See Their Parents Doing

Jennifer Bly

thedeliberatemom.com/

As a former early childhood professional, I’m keenly aware of how much children learn from observing those around them. The adults in a child’s life are especially influential.

I was recently thinking about what I want my children to see me doing and I came up with this list of essentials:

 

Reading.

I don’t read as much as I would like to. Plus, when I do read, it’s while I’m riding the exercise bike or before bed. Children need to see their parents reading and enjoying books. By modeling an appreciation of literature, children are more likely to engage in reading as well.

Action item: 

Try scheduling reading time as a family. Everyone grabs some books and reads on the couch together. 

Helping those less fortunate.

We are a one-income family. Even though our budget is tight, we often look for ways to help those less fortunate. Whether it’s donating food to the food bank or collecting money for the homeless, we do what we can to help those less fortunate.

Action item:

Commit to one volunteering or charitable action at least once a month. Whenever possible, involve your children. It could be as simple as asking them to look through their drawers to select clothing items to donate to a local shelter. Another idea is to have your children choose several items to donate to the food bank

Saying please and thank you.

I don’t mean to sound like your grandparents but what’s with the lack of manners nowadays? I think good manners are essential and have an enormous impact on the way people interact with you. Children need to see their parents being polite with others because this is the fastest way for them to learn. They won’t do it if they don’t see you doing it!

Action item:

When someone holds a door open for you, say thank you (or be the one holding the door open for someone else). Be kind and polite to servers and cashiers. Be well-mannered with your spouse. If your hubby washes the laundry, thank him for it (and make sure the kids see you doing so as well). Thank your children when they do something helpful. 

Making healthy choices.

Many factors contribute to living a healthy lifestyle. From exercise to food choices, to adequate sleep and hygiene, we have got to demonstrate to our children what a healthy lifestyle looks like.

Action item:

When selecting beverages, opt for water instead of soda. Involve your children in making healthy choices at the grocery store; instead of chips, get hummus and carrots! Opt for a family walk over a family movie. Demonstrate proper (and thorough) hand washing. 

Praying.

Do you pray in front of your children or do you reserve prayer for meal time and before bed? Our children need to see their parents praising God and thanking Him for His blessings.

Action item:

Pray regularly in front of your children. If something comes up (i.e. they mention a friend has a cold) offer to pray with them. 

Doing the things they love.

Do you have a hobby? How often do you reserve that hobby for a time when the children are involved in other activities or after they’re in bed? Wouldn’t it be neat if your child got to see your enthusiasm for building model train sets? Wouldn’t it fascinate them to see how much you enjoy something?

Action item:

Plan your hobby times so that your children have an opportunity to see you doing something that you enjoy. If they ask questions, tell them about your activity. Maybe they would like to try it, too!

Playing.

I struggle with playing. Quite often, I feel like there are many other things I can and should be doing. Yet, I always make time to play.

Children benefit from seeing their parents engaged in play. It’s an incredible opportunity to role-model conscientious and courteous play attitudes.

Action items:

Look for opportunities to play. If you’re having troubles connecting with your inner child, then check out this post for inspiration –> How to Connect With Your Inner Child.

Schedule times to play, even if it’s just 20 minutes per day! 

Planning and goal setting.

I am a planner. This is an easy one for me to demonstrate. My daily routine involves planning for the day. This skill is vital to our children’s future! They need opportunities to schedule their time, plan their days, and set goals. The greatest lessons will not necessarily come from achieving objectives but by having unmet goals or days that don’t go as planned.

Action item:

Give your child an agenda. Once a week, spend some time together writing in your agendas and setting goals for the week. Encourage your child to look at and assess their previous week before they start planning a new week. 

Being conscientious with money.

All children grow up to be adults who buy, sell, and invest. Children need opportunities to observe their parents being practical and wise with money.

Action item:

When shopping, allow your child to hear your decision making process (i.e. I won’t get this but I’m going to watch for a sale). It’s also beneficial to demonstrate how you purchase based on needs rather than wants. You could also start a family savings jar for a special purchase or activity. 

Enjoying nature.

From rivers to mountains, to grass and trees, this world contains much beauty. In the documentary Play Again, they shared that environmental degradation is directly related to our detachment from nature. Why care for something we have no connection to? Why care for the environment or the planet if we rarely connect with the beauty and wonder that nature presents? It’s critical that our children see us enjoying and appreciating nature.

Action item:

Take your children on nature walks. Frequently pause to enjoy the scenery. Involve your children in planting a garden. Whenever possible, choose to be outdoors. 

 

 

Curriculum Update:

Colors

            Continuing our lesson on colors, the children made salt and watercolor art! The children drizzled glue on paper and covered it with salt; once the glue was dry they used pipettes to drop watercolors on the salt. Once the watercolor hit the salt it spread all throughout the glue lines!! You can view it in the hallway on our new Toddler Art Gallery (where the parent board used to be)! This week the children also tried an experiment with milk, food coloring, and soap! The children watched as a teacher poured milk into a shallow glass bowl and then added drops of food coloring. Once the milk was all spotted with color we took a q-tip with soap on the end and dipped it in the milk. When the soap hit the milk all the colors spread and swirled and mixed together! The children loved it so much we did it multiple times and also tried different techniques like adding the soap and drops of food coloring before the milk to see if it would work too!

Next Week: Colors  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Room 124red Newsletter

NEWSLETTER

March 11, 2016

 

 

ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Vacation:  Elsi will be on vacation March 14-18.  Her sub will be Jill.

Homework:  If you could please bring in some fruit before Friday, for our fruit salad.  Thank you.

 

TIP OF THE WEEK

The Most Important Skill to Teach Children

February 11, 2015 · by Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.

Today I’m talking about the skill I believe to be the (Dare I say it?) MOST important skill to teach children.  To call it one skill, however, is a little misleading. Its really a set of skills a whole host of skills. At the center of those skills is the ability to control something a behavior, a thought, movement, or a feeling.

Generally, this is called self-regulation. But I am also talking about executive function (control in the brain), emotion-regulation (control of feelings) as well as behavioral regulation (control of actions & movement).

Most of you have probably heard about the marshmallow test in which a researcher will ask a young child (usually between ages 3 and 5) if they would like one or two marshmallows which are placed on a plate in front of them. Then the researcher devises a reason to leave the room and the child is presented with a choice before the researcher leaves: they can eat one marshmallow now or wait until the researcher returns and then they can have two. This is technically called delay of gratification or the ability to suppress an impulse (eat that lovely marshmallow) in order to meet another goal listen to the authority figure of the researcher and wait.

Delay of gratification is only one self-regulation skill, albeit the most well-known one, and it has been linked to many outcomes children who wait longer are more sociable, have better grades, and even better SAT scores years later. There are also brain differencesbetween the children who were better at delaying and those who were not as good at waiting. Self-regulation is partially genetic some children will naturally be better regulated than others, however, self-regulation is very teachable as well.

 

Here are FIVE key ways to nurture self-regulation in your children.

 

1. Use naturally occurring situations to teach strategies for self-regulation.

Waiting to open holiday presents, birthday presents, not sticking her fingers in her friends birthday cake before it is served, or waiting for a special anticipated activity are all teachable moments for self-regulation.

  • §                  First, realize that these situations are truly challenging for younger children. Before the event or situation, explain they will have to wait and why waiting is important.

  • §                  During the waiting process, offer ways for your child to distract themselves and help them to wait. What studies about self-regulation have shown is that it isn’t about the child having the sheer willpower to wait, but instead having lots of strategies to distract themselves while they wait. Do something else, sing a song, tell a story etc.

  • §                  Recognize it if they struggle, “Sometimes it feels hard to wait. When you are waiting you can do something else.” When I tell my son he has to wait for a special treat, he will say- “But can I just look at it, can I just touch it?” I say, “Let’s take a quick look and then let’s do something else, it is harder to wait when you are looking at it.” In doing that, I acknowledge his desire and offer a strategy to help him regulate.

     

2. Realize it is just as important to let go of control. 

One of my favorite quotes from researchers who study self-regulation is this:

The human goal is to be as undercontrolled as possible and overcontrolled as necessary Block & Kremen (1996).

As parents, we spend ALOT of time trying to teach our children to control impulses. It is easy to forget that it is just as important to let them be undercontrolled for lack of a better term.

I loved it when I would return to the room as a researcher in those delay of gratification studies and the kids would stuff both marshmallows in their mouth as happy as could be, no restraint at all. They waited until I came back and then they reveled in the fact of being able to enjoy those marshmallows.

In other cases, kids would seemingly do a good job waiting, but when I came back in the room they were overcontrolled and anxious. Those kids could hardly enjoy the marshmallow. So, it isnt just about waiting or controlling, its about being flexible in that control able to control impulses when needed and letting loose when we can. If you notice your kids being pretty controlled and tending towards anxiety make it your mission to help them learn that sometimes it is okay to let loose.

Teaching your children when to let go of control is equally important as teaching them when to be in control. One of my favorite family traditions is that on your birthday you wake up to everyone in the family singing, presents and a sweet treat. Why on your birthday should you have to wait all day for presents and cake?

3. Remember self-regulation skills develop over years. 

Generally speaking, the organization of the brain system that underlies self-regulation occurs around the age of three. This system goes through a period of rapid development until about the age of five. After the age of five, the development brain areas associated with self-regulation slows down until puberty when a second brain growth spurt means a whole new level of regulation skills will need to be organized and learned in adolescence.

So, all those teachable moments will add up over the years. There may be times when you feel like you dont see any progress it develops slowly and gradually. It is one of those things where youll see effects much later.

Right now, I see my role as simply noticing when my son struggles and helping him through it.

For example, I love that my son has such determination but he also gets incredibly frustrated. He will be trying to connect trucks together with Lego pieces and when it doesnt work he screams and gets upset, but he WILL NOT give up. I want him to retain that feeling of determination, but he also has to learn to manage his frustration (dont we all?).

I try different strategies (Three quick Tips to Help Kids Calm Down)  to get him to take a little break, sometimes Ill even offer a snack, and then we will go back to his project. Often, he can either accomplish what he wanted to do or he will come up with an alternative. That way, I hopefully preserved that wonderful tendency for determination and helped him manage frustration. When he is older, he will be able to manage that frustration on his own, well, until he is a teenager, but let me get through threenager first! And thats one reason behind the threenager/teenager comparison. Both, on different levels, are struggling with self-regulation.

 

4. Have your child make a choice and a plan.

Cognitively a well-regulated older child would be able to look through a set of options and make a reasoned decision. Or, faced with a wide array of possibilities, that child could make a plan. When it comes to well-regulated thought our goal for our children is that they can organize their thoughts and work through problems in a logical way. Cognitively they would be able to sort through the chaos, so to speak, and inhibit distractions in the meantime.

How do we foster this when they are young? I had a professor once who said, No child is ever too young to make a choice, carrots or peas? Which one do they spit out the least? Providing your child with plenty of opportunities for making choices do you want to walk to the playground or play in the backyard? Will you have milk or water? Which pair of tennis shoes will you wear today? Gives them the practice they need to develop decision-making skills.

At younger ages remember to give a choice between two options and as they grow, increase the options. Also, give your child the opportunity to make a plan. This morning we are staying home we can do any of these things- what would you like to do first, second and third? My Aunt took her preteen and teenage sons to New York City once for vacation and she told me each son got a day to plan. They planned what they would do and she gave them a subway map so they could plan the route as well. I think this is a great activity for older kids. It is the same idea with younger kids as well to plan and map out an activity is a great exercise in cognitive regulation.

 

5. Play control games.

Any game that asks kids to control something is fostering self-regulation. Anytime they have to suppress something. Like a whisper game, slow down speed up, the freeze game/dance, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, and similar. See my post on more of my favorite games for self-regulation here. Also,make believe play has been shown to be linked to self-regulation. And just plain old free play. Yep, they are naturally equipped to learn self-regulation just through unstructured free play, we are along for nudges and helping through the struggles, but giving time and space for play may be the best thing we can do.

What are other moments you have noticed yourself teaching self-regulation? Do you find yourself needing to teach your child more regulation or needing to teach them to let loose more?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Recycling

This week we discussed that recycling simply means reusing items.  We went over items that we reuse in our room.  For example, the plates, forks and spoon for breakfast, lunch and snack are reused.  We place them in a special bin and wash them.  We do not place them in the garbage.  We talked about the items that were brought from home.  We picked an item from the pile and talked about how it was used and how it could be used again.  Such as; we used a lid, rubber bands and popsicle sticks to make a banjo; we used water bottles to make flowers; and we used a box for the flowerpot.  We reused caps and containers for toys.  One of the toys that we made was, we decorated a container and opened a hole on the lid and the children placed different color and types of caps through the hole.  When the children were done with the caps, they took the lid off the container and dumped the caps and repeated the cycle.  It was great for math skills!

 

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Fruit

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

124 Red Newsletter

NEWSLETTER

March 4, 2016

 ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Recycling:  We will be talking about recycling next week. If you could please bring recycling items, such as: water bottles, lids, caps, ribbon, diaper box, tin cans, etc…

Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday to Isaac who turned 3 on Thursday!

10 Manners Your Child Should Know By Age 5

Kids are never too young to learn manners. In fact, in a day and age when we are seeing more teenagers lacking in the manners department, it seems more important than ever that parents start early in teaching their children how to interact with the world. The truth is your child will get further in life and will be more respected by adults and playmates alike if they learn manners.

 How To Say “Please” and “Thank you”: “Please and thank truly are the magic words. And this little tidbit of mannerly behavior can be taught even before your child is able to talk. Making “please” and “thank you” a habit in the home makes these courtesies a habit in life.

 Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze and Cough: Spittle flying from little noses and mouths is just plain gross. Trust me: teachers appreciate children who know this before they get to school.

 How To Ask Before Taking: There is nothing more disturbing than a child who hasn't yet learned that they aren't the center of the universe. Children should ASK before taking something that is not theirs, and this includes Mom and Dad's stuff.

 How To Say “Sorry” For Real: Not the kind of “I'm sorry” that means nothing because they were forced to say it by an angry parent. Empathy is definitely a life skill.

 How to Knock on Doors Before Entering: And this includes the bathroom while Mom is trying to take a poop in private.

 How to Say “Excuse me”: Children are naturally impatient. Far too often, you see parents who jump every time their child interrupts them. Children need to learn when they can and when they cannot interrupt people, they and should learn how to gently say “excuse me,” rather than insist on incessant tapping and saying “Mama, Mama, Mama.”

 How to Sit Quietly: It's rude to talk through an entire movie. Kids need to learn how to calm down their wiggles and giggles in less-than-interesting situations. Patience is a definitely a virtue.

 How to Eat Dinner at the Table: OK, so the dinner table is at times pure pandemonium. Still, kids should know how to use their utensils and how NOT to talk with their mouths full. And when you are not at home, manners are a must — even for a 4 year old!

 Not to Make Fun of People: Toddlers and young children are notorious for pointing out gigantic moles or fat people in public, but parents must teach children that sometimes comments like these hurt feelings unnecessarily. It's not nice to make fun of people or point out their flaws.

 How to be Helpful and Compassionate: Hold a door open for someone that has their hands full. Ask their teacher or parent if they need help with chores. Recognizing ways to be helpful and compassionate to others is a gift that children can learn early in life — a gift that will make them feel good about themselves and be well liked by others.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Rocks

This week we talked about rocks. During group time we read books and explained to the children that rocks are not living things but they do make up part of our Earth. Rocks can be found on the ground, rocks make up mountains, they can be found in the water such as a lake or stream, and rocks even make up cement that is make into our sidewalk. By exploring rocks at group time and setting up a science center for the children to sort rocks, the children learned that rocks come in all shapes, sizes, colors and they even have different textures. Some rocks are very smooth while others have many jagged edges. The children used a magnifying glass to look closely at rocks to see their many colors and indentations that make them each unique. The children explored rocks in the sensory table as well and did an experiment to see if rocks sink or float- they found through their hands on experience that they do sink! A favorite art activity was paining rocks and calling them our pet rock. Lastly, the children were very proud of the rocks they brought in from outside of school; they each got the opportunity to show the other children what rock they found and where they found it. Then, we added it to our rock collection.

 NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Recycling

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

Room 122 Red Newsletter: March 4, 2016

 

                                                                                           

Did You Know?

We use www.emergencyclosings.com to provide alerts to parents and staff about the status of our center. Please register so that you receive timely e-mail alerts in case of closures and for updates. The center is listed under “G” for Gertrude B. Nielsen Child Care and Learning Center.

                       

 

Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Thank you so much for all of the yummy fruit for our fruit salad.

 

Community Happenings

Happy Birthday, Dr. Suess: March 12, 2016 1-4pm.

http://www.desplaineshistory.org/programs/calendar/2016/3/12/happy-birthday-dr-seuss

 

Tip of the Week

The Secret to Getting Your Child Out the Door (and on time and without a fuss)

Tovah P. Klein

Welcome back to Toddlerland where this month, I address what I hear time and again is a top challenge for parents—getting your child out the door. This is an activity that many of you argue, and I agree, should be much simpler and yet it tends to be one of the most frustrating moments of the day, with morning tussles often being the hardest. I recently received this note from the parents of a spirited four-year-old. Does this situation sound familiar to you?
 
 “From the minute our daughter wakes up, we are walking on eggshells waiting for her to erupt. The mornings are a nightmare. Demands, meltdowns, rudeness, refusing to eat or get dressed. What do we do to make the mornings better?”
 
WHAT’S GOING ON?
The havoc of getting your child out the door is a perennial and universal problem (meaning, your child is not abnormal or extra difficult) because leaving home is about separation from you and the comfort, stability and safety of home. This is one of the hardest transitions for your toddler to navigate.
 
Separation and saying good-bye is hard for toddlers; for some, the emotional intensity of separating starts the moment he or she wakes up. Even if your child enjoys being at school and looks forward to seeing his or her friends, separating is still difficult and delaying the inevitable good-bye may start well before you get to the front door. Battles over getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing teeth are a common complaint, as are bizarre requests to delay separating. I remember when one of my sons was at this age and just as we were about to leave the house, he bolted back to his bedroom in full winter gear and hysterics screaming, “No, I won’t go. I didn’t put stuffed tiger on the shelf where he sleeps all day!” Was his meltdown about Tigey? No, he didn’t want to leave home.
 
What You Can Do Today:
Have a clear, morning routine in place (wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, put on coat and backpack, wave good-bye to the house) that you follow each weekday with minimal distractions. If you send your child into the playroom to get her shoes she will see all the toys she could be playing with. Even a minor distraction can set your child off course. Instead, put her shoes by the front door. When leaving the house, let your child stick something small from home in his pocket or backpack. A note from you with a smiley face or a heart will also help your child feel close to home and ease his sense of separation.
 
Your child lives in the here and now. Your child is focused on the moment, which means she’s not thinking about what comes next (getting to school or to a weekend birthday party). Being so focused on the activity at hand also makes it hard for your child to stop and shift gears. As a parent, it is your role to move your child to the next thing, even when it’s challenging. The mother of a 5-year-old noted:
 
“He loves to be outside but getting him out is simply impossible, even to play in the yard. I dragged him out screaming because all he wanted to do was build Legos, Legos, Legos, which he had been doing for hours. He screamed that he hated me. Then, he played outside for two hours, gloriously happy. He didn’t even want to come in.”
 
What You Can Do Today:
To help your very focused child switch modes, give a heads-up before asking him to move on. Say, “In a few minutes, park your train for later,” and then let your child know that he can return to this activity later. Reminders like, “You can play with your trains again when we get home from the store,” tells your child that he will have the opportunity to return to his current play and helps ease the transition from one activity to the next.
 
Over-scheduled. I’ve discovered that the more scheduled children are, the less they want to leave home, especially on weekends. Of course, this isn’t true for all children, but it may be for yours. Consider how busy your child’s week is—day care, pre-school, after care, organized sports and other activities like music and language lessons can be a heavy load for a little person. For young children, after a fully scheduled day and week, just being home feels good and being able to decide for themselves what to do on their off-time feels even better.

What You Can Do Today:
Consider lightening up your child’s days—less planned activities, fewer weekend outings, more down time at home including being outdoors with family. You can keep a routine and still relax this way. Then on Sunday night, prepare for Monday morning. Breakfast dishes and clean clothes out. Lunches made ahead of time. Shoes, coat, and backpack all ready to go by the front door. The less organizing you have to do in the mornings, the more you can help your child navigate through their routine and leave on time.

 

Curriculum Update:

Colors

            Colors, colors everywhere! The children played “I Spy” looking for colors outside and in the classroom. They found a rainbow of colors in their environment.  The children each got a rainbow squish bag filled with finger paint. As they squished the primary colors, secondary colors emerged. The children discovered that the colors were even brighter when they squished on the light table.

Using toilet paper rolls, the children mixed and created circles of many colors. One child remarked, “These look like bubbles!”  The highlight of the week was making fruit salad. The children cut fruit up and feasted on it as they went along. We talked about the all the different colors of fruit that we had to taste.

Next Week: Colors  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

T1 Newsletter

March 4th, 2016

 Room Announcements

  •  Feel free to bring in a picture of an important woman in your life.

  •  Cheryl Dimer will be working Amy Jordan’s shift next week Monday-Thursday 10:00-6:00.

School Announcements

  • None at this time

 

Topic of the Week

  Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

This week the children learned all about Dr. Seuss. We read many fun stories written by Dr. Seuss at group time.

During art the children were very creative. They painted plates yellow one day and glued pom poms onto the plates the next to represent the book Put Me In The Zoo.  The children also painted a negative space painting with red and white to represent Cat In The Hat. The favorite art activity of the week was painting with socks on their hands that represented Fox In Socks.

In the sensory table the children played with green playdoh, colored noodles, sand and plastic eggs, and rainbow oobleck. The children love exploring different textures. The highlight of the week was colored shaving cream.

Tip of the Week

History Comes Alive

Are you visiting older friends or relatives soon? Ask them to show your child some of their treasures from long ago. Examples: a photograph, a typewriter, a baseball glove, an old piece of furniture. Then, they can tell your child the stories behind those items.

Quotes

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.” Lauren Bacall

“There are two gifts we can give our children. One is roots. The other is a wing.” Anonymous

Did You Know?

At GBN, we pride ourselves on documenting children’s learning. This is why we call our hallway boards, documentation boards rather than bulletin boards.

Next Week: Women In History

Have a great weekend!

Toddler 1 Staff

 

Toddler One Newsletter- February 26, 2016

Room Announcements

Wednesday, March 2nd is Wacky Wednesday! Come dressed in your favorite mismatched outfit.

School Announcements

Thank you to all parents who participated in the potluck! What a great event!

Topic of the Week

    This week the children took a closer look at the story The Mitten by Jan Brett. In this story, a young boy loses his mitten in the forest during winter time. Different animals climb into the mitten looking for warmth and shelter from the cold. The children enjoyed learning about new animals, such as a fox, badger, and hedgehog.  They especially loved when the mouse made the bear sneeze and all of the animals went flying out of the mitten! 

    During sensory, the children enjoyed exploring different winter clothes, such as mittens, hats and boots. Another favorite activity this week was to play with forest animals in the sensory table with corn starch and during free play with wooden blocks and empty boxes.

    At the art table, the children used the animals to make white footprints on construction paper. They also enjoyed painting with puffy paint made from shaving cream and glue. 

Tip of the Week

Traditions Strengthen Relationships

Start rituals that feel natural for your family. One family might have a weekly craft night, while another may eat breakfast for dinner once a month. When you hit upon something that works, plan to do it again. Repeat it on a regular basis and — presto!— a new tradition is born that gives your youngster a sense of family. 

Community Happenings

Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration Storytime

Saturday February 27th at 11am

Deerfield Square Barnes and Noble

728 Waukegan Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Join us in celebrating the beloved Dr. Seuss’s birthday. At this celebration you can pin the tail on the Horton, decorate your own Cat in the Hat hat and more. Don’t miss out on this fun-filled story time! 

 

Did You Know?

Parents are encouraged to share information about their family’s culture so we can incorporate home life into the classrooms.

 

Next Week: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Have a great weekend!

Toddler 1 Staff

Parent Comments: What is your child’s favorite Dr. Seuss story?

Please write your observations on the Parent Corner Board in the Toddler hallway.

Room 124 Red Newsletter

ROOM ANNOUNCEMENTS

Homework:  As you take a walk to your car, around your block or to GBN, stop and take a look to see if you could find a rock on the floor.  Let your child bring it to school and he/she could tell us all about the rock he/she found.

Recycling:  We will be talking about recycling in a few weeks, if you could please bring recycling items, such as: water bottles, lids, caps, ribbon, diaper box, etc…

 Vacation:  Liz will be on vacation next week.  Her sub will be Stacy and Cheryl.    

TIP OF THE WEEK

42 THINGS WE NEED TO TELL OUR KIDS

MICHELLE HORTON

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice,” said author Peggy O’Mara, and subsequently thousands of Pinterest boards.

And it’s true.

The things we say — not only with our mouths, but with our tone, actions, and mannerisms — affect our kids. They’ll hold our words in that deep-down place where all kids do: Down where we keep our sense of worth, our feeling of being “enough,” our fears and doubts and self-love.

There’s a real resistance to the “self-esteem campaigns” I was raised with in the 90s — the “You are a special snowflake” sentiments that, while well-intentioned, are nothing more than a punchline now:

“Attention all whiny, entitled, self-centered Millennials — you’re not a special snowflake, yah hear me?”

Okay, okay. Maybe special is a bad word choice — although, I’ll be honest, my son is pretty darn special to me. Not the most special person in the world, and not more special than any other child, but his specialness is still there; I see it. Instead of using airy, ethereal words to raise up our kids (“you can do ANYTHING!”), maybe we just try kind words. Loving words. True words. Words that strengthen and reassure, not delude. Words our kids can pull out like tools, whether they’re 5 or 55.

With that in mind, here are some loving words and phrases I’d like to say more often — words and phrases that all kids deserve to hear:

1. It’s okay to be angry. I can help you calm down.

2. It’s okay to be sad. I will sit with you.

3. It’s okay to feel disappointed. I’ve felt it, too.

4. It’s okay.

5. I like who you are.

6. You are important to me.

7. I’m listening.

8. I’m here.

9. You don’t have to make me happy.

10. You are more than your emotions; they will pass.

11. I can handle your emotions, no matter how big they are.

12. Yes, I will watch you play.

13. Yes, I will join you.

14. Yes, I will lay with you.

15. You make me smile.

16. I believe in you.

17. I trust you.

18. You can handle this.

19. You aren’t perfect, and neither am I.

20. But our love is perfect.

21. Thank you.

22. I’m proud of you.

23. I’m happy you’re here.

24. It’s okay to make mistakes.

25. Take your time.

26. You are strong.

27. I’m proud to be your mom.

28. You are brave.

29. I forgive you.

30. Cry. Let it out.

31. I’ve been thinking about you.

32. I missed you today.

33. It’s okay to change your mind.

34. It’s okay to ask for help.

35. I hear you.

36. I see you.

37. I’m sorry.

38. You make my life better.

39. You are capable.

40. You are worthy.

41. You matter.

42. I love you, always, just as you are.

There’s a Jewish mystic story about an old Rabbi who taught his disciples to memorize the teachings and place the holy words on their hearts.

“Why on our hearts, and not in them?” one student asked.

“We put the words on our hearts, so that some day when our hearts break they will fall in.”

And so I hope to put these words on my son’s heart, too. So that one day when he questions his worth or feels unsure — when he feels his heavy heart caving in, for all of the reasons a heart might break— my words will fall inside.

Maybe then he’ll remember that he is okay and loved, just as he is. Maybe he’ll hear my words as his own. Maybe he’ll even pass them on.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Pets

Our focus was on pets this week.  We made a folder of the pictures that were emailed to us.  We also had a show and tell about the pictures.  The children were so excited to talk about their pet.  The activities that were set up for the children to explore had to do with pets.  We had a designated area as a pet shop.  The children were able to go to the pet shop and pick out a pet and care for the pet.  The children painted a paper plate and sprinkled shredded foam (the art is hung on the wall if you would like to take a look).  Since cats enjoy balls of yarn, we painted with yarn on construction paper.  We had balls of yarn in the sensory table, where the children took the ends and unrolled the yarn.  We had a fishbowl filled with gravel, water and different types of fish.  Some of the fish floated and some sank to the bottom of the bowl.  After reading a book on what kind of pet to get, we asked the children, “If you could have any pet, what kind of pet would you like?” the answers are posted on the board next to the exit door. 

 NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Rocks

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND-ELSI, STEPHANIE, AND LIZ

Room 122 Red Newsletter

                               

Did You Know?

We have only had three directors in our 25-year history, two of which have served for more than 10 years each.

                       

 

Room Announcements

 

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Welcome: We would like to welcome Ethan Harmon and his parents, Alison and Chris to our room. Ethan has an older brother in the preschool program.

Homework: Thursday March 3rd our student teacher Kim will be leading a cooking activity with the children! Please bring in some fruit (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwi, etc.) for the children to make fruit salad with! 

Toddler Art Gallery: Keep you eye on the Parent Board in the Toddler Hallway. It will become the program’s art gallery. Classrooms will take turns displaying the children’s artwork.

 

 

 

Community Happenings

Cinderella… After the Ball: March 3, 2016 – May 8, 2016 Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences. Lincolnshire, IL

http://www.chicagoparent.com/resources/going-places/showtime/theater/marriott-theatre-for-young-audiences/events/cinderella-after-the-ball

 

 

 

Tip of the Week

Your Toddler or Preschooler and TV

ahaparenting.com

http://www.ahaparenting.com/Ages-stages/toddlers/toddler-preschooler-tv-computer

“If you want a child who can spend long hours entertaining herself (which will afford you many breaks and make you the envy of all your friends with children); and if you want your child to have the best chance of reaching her educational potential, be able to listen and retain what she learns and need to spend less time doing homework, studying for tests, stressing about school in general; then don’t turn on the TV for the first 2 to 3 years. It is much easier than you imagine. But once you begin using TV, it’s harder.
-Janet Lansbury

 

How much screen time should your Toddler or Preschooler have? Are you ready? In my opinion, no daily time on an ongoing basis.

Of course, screens are a terrific babysitter. If you have a new baby in the family, or you're trying to get some essential alone time with each of your kids, or if you're easing a long car ride, it's my vote that screen time is worth the risk. But if you routinely use TV so you can get stuff done, you're actually shaping your child's brain so that he will be LESS able to entertain himself over time.

It's better to find a babysitter or a preschool program for a few hours a day. Risking your child's brain development is too high a price to pay for keeping him busy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is more open on this. Drawing from the research, they suggest that children under age 2 not watch any TV and that kids over age 2 be limited to an hour or at most two, daily, of quality programming.

That comes out to about ten hours per week. And yet, toddlers and preschoolers in the US watch an average of 32 hours of TV every week.

Why is this a problem?

  • TV changes brain development. Dr Dimitri Christakis will blow you away with this talk about brain development and the effects of TV.
  • TV can sabotage kids as they learn to read, and keep them from becoming good students. Why? Click here.
  • Toddlers and preschoolers have other, very important developmental work to do. This is a huge amount of time spent on TV that should be spend on the things that are better for their brains - blocks, art, running around, engaging with other people. These activities teach kids self-regulation, and are the foundation for the next stages of learning.
  • TV is addictive and this sets up a habit for life.

If you're protesting this as an extreme position, consider it from another perspective. Would you let your child engage in any other daily activity likely to negatively impact the way his brain is developing, or damage her body?

TV and computer games stimulate your child's brain to develop differently, and many of those changes seem to have to do with shortening attention spans, reducing impulse control, and heightening aggression. There's increasing evidence that the more TV kids watch the more likely they are to have ADD and ADHD symptoms.

Young children's brains were designed to develop optimally by engaging with the physical world, and with the imagination--being told stories, for instance--rather than to be fed passive viewing that bypasses the need for imagination.

Toddlers and preschoolers may not look busy, but they have important developmental work to do. Fantasy play, building with blocks, artwork, social interaction with their peers and siblings, cooking with their parents, climbing, swinging, looking at books. These activities help your child's brain develop as it's designed to, giving her people skills and problem solving creativity, as well as the foundation for math and reasoning.

What about the forbidden fruit argument? If your policy is simply that you don't watch TV at your house, your child won't question it, any more than he would question your decision not to serve sodas. Kids who don't drink sodas while growing up don't usually develop a taste for them. And if you're concerned about your child feeling left out of what the other kids know, you can always change your policy when kids get older and peer pressure makes it "essential" for your middle schooler to catch the latest show. Because she's starting later, the likelihood of addiction is much less.

Don't be seduced by the computer, either. I know, it not only babysits, it teaches your child to read! And computers are certainly better than TV because they're interactive. But most experts recommend that you delay introducing the computer, or strictly limit young kids' time on it, because computer games are also designed to be addictive.

Regardless of how carefully you monitor your young child's screen time, you're allowing an addiction to develop. By the time they're eight, if not well before, you won't know what they're seeing, because they'll be changing the channel when you're out of the room. Better not to get a habit started, and meanwhile leave time for the child to develop the habit of reading. 

Does TV Teach Children to Hit?

There is no question that "violent" programming causes greater aggressiveness in children. We have solid evidence from hundreds of studies on the effects of children's TV viewing. Think your children aren't seeing violent programming? Think again. According to the University of Michigan's Health System:

  • Even in G-rated, animated movies and DVDs, violence is common—often as a way for the good characters to solve their problems. Every single U.S. animated feature film produced between 1937 and 1999 contained violence, and the amount of violence with intent to injure has increased over the years.
  • Even "good guys" beating up "bad guys" gives a message that violence is normal and okay. Many children will try to be like their "good guy" heroes in their play.
  • Repeated exposure to TV violence makes children less sensitive toward its effects on victims and the human suffering it causes.
  • A University of Michigan researcher demonstrated that watching violent media can affect willingness to help others in need. Read about the study here: Comfortably Numb: Desensitizing Effects of Violent Media on Helping Others.
  • A 15-year-long study by University of Michigan researchers found that the link between childhood TV-violence viewing and aggressive and violent behavior persists into adulthood.
  • Even having the TV on in the home is linked to more aggressive behavior in 3-year-olds. This was regardless of the type of programming and regardless of whether the child was actually watching the TV.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, in a review of the literature, says that violent programming can cause kids to:

  • Become "immune" or numb to the horror of violence
  • Gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
  • Imitate the violence they observe on television; and
  • Identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers

Studies show that even when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence, kids can develop these symptoms. The Academy psychiatrists suggest that parents protect children from excessive TV violence in the following ways:

  • Pay attention to the programs their children are watching and watch some with them.
  • Set limits on the amount of time they spend with the television.
  • Remove the TV set from the child's bedroom.
  • Point out that although the actor has not actually been hurt or killed, such violence in real life results in pain or death.
  • Refuse to let the children see shows known to be violent, and change the channel or turn off the TV set when offensive material comes on, with an explanation of what is wrong with the program.
  • Disapprove of the violent episodes in front of the children, stressing the belief that such behavior is not the best way to resolve a problem.
  • To offset peer pressure among friends and classmates, contact other parents and agree to enforce similar rules about the length of time and type of program the children may watch.

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD OF TV

Most toddlers and preschoolers who have never been exposed to TV and computer are used to keeping themselves occupied, and they stay busy. But if you're trying to break the electronic habit, try using audio books instead. These are more creative (since your child supplies the imagery in his own mind) and not addictive, but they offer kids downtime during which they're engrossed in something and less likely to need your attention.

To address times when your child just needs an activity of any kind, try an Idea Jar for boredom busting.

I should caution you that kids won't be able to occupy themselves if you have not spent any time that day with your child -- he needs his fix of parental attention and only something as engaging as TV or computer will divert him. But if you've spent the last hour building towers and reading to him, his emotional bank is full of your undivided attention. Now he just needs a transition to get into the next thing.

It’s great if you have a jar pre-filled with ideas, for when you draw a blank.

“Do you want to draw a picture for Grandma? Build a city for your beanie babies? Listen and dance to music? Cut out strips of paper and make a paper chain that reaches across the living room? Put on your jacket and make a sand castle in the sandbox? Or come up with an even better idea on your own?”

Of course, your child may not need a structured activity. Many preschoolers left to their own devices are happy to engage in fantasy play with an imaginary friend or some action figures. My daughter at age four would say "I think I'll play with Betsy" (her imaginary friend) and stay happily occupied for an hour.

Make it clear that it’s their job to entertain themselves. Once they get used to it, they will come to love this time on their own. The benefits to their imagination and self regulation are priceless. And learning the skill of managing their time and entertaining themselves is an essential protective gift for children growing up in our over-scheduled, hyper-media culture.

 

Curriculum Update

Colors

This week we continued our exploration on color! We learned that when mixing the primary colored paint (red, yellow, blue) on poster board we get other colors (purple, orange, green). The children were so excited when the colors mixed and they saw the new colors form! The children also sorted different items in the classroom by color. Our most exciting project this week was our flowers!! The children chose which watercolor they wanted and added it to a small bottle. The children then filled the rest of the bottle with water and added a white flower. Throughout the rest of the day and week the children got to watch the flowers “drink” the colored water and change color as a result! Next the children want to try adding color to their water or milk to see if they change color!! (oh my!)

Next Week: Colors  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret