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Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

How to Support Children’s Approaches to Learning? Play with Them!

We do it here at The Goddard School every day -teaching and learning through play! Children learn by experiencing and exploring the world around them. Here at The Goddard School it is our goal to provide a safe and fun environment in which they can do that. Below is a NAEYC article explaining more about how you can also be doing this at home. You all play with your children -this article will help make you even more aware of how that play can support their learning.

 

 

As a parent, you want your children to learn all that they can—to grasp math concepts, to be curious about exploring the world, and to learn to read and write. Did you know that you can help your son or daughter academically by playing with them? Play and learning go together!

What kind of play helps children learn the best? Play that really engages children—play that they will focus on and stay with even when problems arise. This kind of play helps children develop their approaches to learning—in other words, the ways they respond to learning situations. Curiosity about the world, initiative and problem solving, and focused attention and persistence are just a few approaches to learning that children develop through play.

In the early years, parents can help children develop the skills to be better students by playing with them. Yes, as they enter kindergarten and the elementary years, children need to have some understanding of letters and numbers. However, if they have not developed solid approaches to learning, they will not be as successful in school settings.

Encouraging Toddlers at Play

Joey is 20 months old. He has a basket full of toys, including rattles, soft plastic blocks, a set of stacking rings, stuffed animals, and cloth and plastic books. Joey’s dad often sits down on the floor with Joey and invites him to play with items in the basket. Joey’s favorite activity is to dump out all of the toys and put the basket on his head! This is typical toddler play behavior. Joey is curious about the world and is looking at it another way—through the slats in the basket!

Joey loves to shake the rattles to hear the different sounds or to stack two or three blocks and knock them down. His attention to each might be up to five minutes or so, which is just right for his age. He may solve problems as he tries to place the rings on the stacking post or to add more blocks to a tower.

Joey’s dad encourages his curiosity. He comments about what he is doing: “I see you are trying to get that last ring on the post, but it just won’t fit.” Or he asks him questions: “Where did that ball go? Do you see it hiding behind the chair?” He connects his play to learning by responding positively to his interest: “I can tell you like to look through the basket, you silly boy. Does everything look different from under there?” He also encourages him by asking him to keep trying even when he gets frustrated. “Oh, those blocks keep falling down, don’t they? Can you try to put just one on top of another gently? Let’s see what happens. I’ll help you.” This encouragement fosters his perseverance, his attention, and his initiative at problem solving, all positive approaches to learning.

Encouraging Preschoolers at Play

Alicia is 4 years old. She loves to dress up in her mommy’s clothes, jewelry, and shoes and then pretend to go shopping, care for her baby dolls, and cook dinner. Through her pretend play Alicia learns to think abstractly. When she holds a block in her hand and uses it to pretend to talk on the phone, she is using the block as a symbol for something else. That’s abstract thinking in action! And, since letters and numbers are abstract because they are symbols of what they represent, pretend play is one way a child develops her understanding of letters and numbers.

Alicia’s mom and dad have recognized that supporting her pretend activities keeps her engaged for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. They pretend right along with her, asking her to “bake some cookies” or to “go grocery shopping” for them. They give her paper and crayons so that she can pretend to write grocery lists. They encourage her to count how many items she has placed in her toy shopping cart. They accept her scribbles and letter-like shapes as her writing (just right for 4-year-olds) and help her when the numbers get a little mixed up.

Alicia will work with puzzles for long periods of time, too, especially if her dad joins her. Together, they figure out strategies for putting the pieces together. She may turn the pieces around, trying out different ways until she is successful. She is developing problem solving and persistence as she does so.

 

Your Role as Your Child Plays

Playing with your child helps keep your child engaged in the kind of play where learning occurs. Your interest, questions, and comments as you play alongside will help your child use toys productively. And the two of you will have lots of fun together! Most importantly, you will be working toward your child’s future success as a student by building important approaches to learning. Play and learning go together!

 

 

Article by Gaye Gronlund and taken from NAEYC..

Gaye Gronlund, M.A., is an Early Childhood Education Consultant. She works with teachers, families, and programs across the country and writes books and articles about play, standards, assessment, and curriculum.

 

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page

Staying Safe and Warm in the Winter

Winter is fun! Kids love playing in the cold and snow and they should be encouraged to do so. There are some wonderful learning opportunities outside in the Winter! However, there are also some important things to remember while out in the cold. This article found on healthychildren.org gives some wonderful tips on staying warm and safe during all that outside Winter fun!

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.

What to Wear

  • Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities.  Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Always remember warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
  • The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
  • When riding in the car, babies and children should wear thin, snug layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snowsuits. See Winter Car Seat Safety Tips for additional information.
  • Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment because they are associated with suffocation deaths. It is better to use sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets.
  •  If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.

Hypothermia

  • Hypothermia develops when a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
  • As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy.  Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
  • If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.

Frostbite

  • Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen.  This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose.  They may become pale, gray and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
  • If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water.  104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
  • Do not rub the frozen areas.
  • After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
  • If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.

Safe Winter Sports and Activities

Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.  Have children come inside periodically to warm up.

Ice Skating

  • Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces.  Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
  • Advise your child to:
    • Skate in the same direction as the crowd
    • Avoid darting across the ice
    • Never skate alone
    • Do Not chew gum or eat candy while skating
    • Consider having your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate to keep them safe.

Sledding

  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
  • Children should be supervised while sledding.
  • Keep young children separated from older children.
  • Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
  • Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
  • Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes.
  • Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
  • Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow (not ice), not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
  • Avoid sledding in crowded areas.

Snow Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
  • Never ski or snowboard alone.
  • Young children should always be supervised by an adult.  Older children’s need for adult supervision depends on their maturity and skill.  If older children are not with an adult, they should always at least be accompanied by a friend.
  • All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets. Ski facilities should require helmet use, but if they do not, parents should enforce the requirement for their children.
  • Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Eye protection or goggles should also be used.
  • Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.
  • Avoid skiing in areas with trees and other obstacles.

Snowmobiling

  • The AAP recommends that children under age 16 not operate snowmobiles and that children under age 6 never ride on snowmobiles.
  • Do not use a snowmobile to pull a sled or skiers.
  • Wear goggles and a safety helmet approved for use on motorized vehicles like motorcycles.
  • Travel at safe speeds.
  • Never snowmobile alone or at night.
  • Stay on marked trails, away from roads, water, railroads and pedestrians.

Learning while Cooking with Your Child

Cooking with children provides many learning opportunities! You can practice math by counting items, sorting different food items, comparing size and measuring. You can practice science as you discuss how items grow, how heat affects food and the different textures of foods. You can develop fine motor skills while peeling foods and picking up pieces of food to add to a recipe. There are also many opportunities for literacy growth as you cook with your child! The NAEYC article below discusses different ideas on how to do that. The most important thing to remember when cooking with your child is: HAVE FUN!!

 

Read and Eat

By: Mary Reid

For years I kept a stone in a drawer in my kitchen. Why, you ask?  Because my kids and I needed it to make stone soup! The classic story, Stone Soup, tells about a weary traveler who arrives in a village hungry and without food. None of the villagers wish to share food with him until he says he can make soup from a stone. The villagers offer first an onion, and finally some juicy beef bones.

Every time we made soup, we’d turn it into stone soup and together would chant the refrain, “Fancy that, soup from a stone,” and “It tastes good now but it would taste better if we had some juicy beef bones.”

Our children loved making stone soup for years, always using the same smooth white stone. As a family, we had fun chanting, “Soup from a stone. Fancy that?” but the lesson was deeper. We talked about the gist of being generous – a family value we wanted to pass down to our children.

Cooking offers a wonderful way to bring what we learn from books into our daily life.  While cooking we build relationships, engage the senses and develop literacy skills.

Many classic children’s stories lend themselves to cooking with children. Here are some examples:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  The story of the Three Bears is a predictable story and one easily sequenced by young children due to the repetition (Papa Bear’s big items, Mama Bear’s middle sized things and Baby Bear’s tiny things). Sequencing is a skill that is needed in daily life, as well as in reading and math comprehension.  And of course this story begs for a porridge meal (oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc.) Children will, of course, want theirs “Just right,” just like Goldilocks.

Green Eggs and Ham, by: Dr. Seuss: Add a little green food coloring into scrambled eggs for your child after reading the book together. If your picky eater doesn’t like the look of green eggs, ask him “Would you eat them in the boat? Would you eat them with a goat?” He may reply, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I Am.” Who can deny Dr. Seuss as the king of rhyme? Learning to rhyme is a skill needed before children learn to read. Many adults remember the rhymes from Dr. Seuss books and making time to rhyme with children is a fun way to learn this skill.

Pancakes, Pancakes, by: Eric Carle: This book illustrates the old fashion way to make pancakes beginning with graining the flour. Follow the author’s lead and take the time to make pancakes from scratch with your child. (You don’t need a mix – pancakes require just a few ingredients.) Foster writing and math skills by creating a pictorial version of your own pancake recipe with your child, making simple drawings to depict the ingredients. For example, you can say: “We used two eggs, Can you make a drawing that shows how many eggs we need for this recipe?”

You and your children will build relationships, engage your senses and develop literacy skills by reading and cooking together.

Read and eat, that’s my philosophy.

 

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page

 

 

How Can You Help Your Child Learn? PLAY with Them!

Our philosophy at The Goddard School is children learn best through play! Below is an article addressing the importance of play for a child to learn and how you as a parent can help your child learn simply by playing with them.

 

As a parent, you want your children to learn all that they can—to grasp math concepts, to be curious about exploring the world, and to learn to read and write. Did you know that you can help your son or daughter academically by playing with them? Play and learning go together!

What kind of play helps children learn the best? Play that really engages children—play that they will focus on and stay with even when problems arise. This kind of play helps children develop their approaches to learning—in other words, the ways they respond to learning situations. Curiosity about the world, initiative and problem solving, and focused attention and persistence are just a few approaches to learning that children develop through play.

In the early years, parents can help children develop the skills to be better students by playing with them. Yes, as they enter kindergarten and the elementary years, children need to have some understanding of letters and numbers. However, if they have not developed solid approaches to learning, they will not be as successful in school settings.

Encouraging Toddlers at Play

Joey is 20 months old. He has a basket full of toys, including rattles, soft plastic blocks, a set of stacking rings, stuffed animals, and cloth and plastic books. Joey’s dad often sits down on the floor with Joey and invites him to play with items in the basket. Joey’s favorite activity is to dump out all of the toys and put the basket on his head! This is typical toddler play behavior. Joey is curious about the world and is looking at it another way—through the slats in the basket!

Joey loves to shake the rattles to hear the different sounds or to stack two or three blocks and knock them down. His attention to each might be up to five minutes or so, which is just right for his age. He may solve problems as he tries to place the rings on the stacking post or to add more blocks to a tower.

Joey’s dad encourages his curiosity. He comments about what he is doing: “I see you are trying to get that last ring on the post, but it just won’t fit.” Or he asks him questions: “Where did that ball go? Do you see it hiding behind the chair?” He connects his play to learning by responding positively to his interest: “I can tell you like to look through the basket, you silly boy. Does everything look different from under there?” He also encourages him by asking him to keep trying even when he gets frustrated. “Oh, those blocks keep falling down, don’t they? Can you try to put just one on top of another gently? Let’s see what happens. I’ll help you.” This encouragement fosters his perseverance, his attention, and his initiative at problem solving, all positive approaches to learning.

Encouraging Preschoolers at Play

Alicia is 4 years old. She loves to dress up in her mommy’s clothes, jewelry, and shoes and then pretend to go shopping, care for her baby dolls, and cook dinner. Through her pretend play Alicia learns to think abstractly. When she holds a block in her hand and uses it to pretend to talk on the phone, she is using the block as a symbol for something else. That’s abstract thinking in action! And, since letters and numbers are abstract because they are symbols of what they represent, pretend play is one way a child develops her understanding of letters and numbers.

Alicia’s mom and dad have recognized that supporting her pretend activities keeps her engaged for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. They pretend right along with her, asking her to “bake some cookies” or to “go grocery shopping” for them. They give her paper and crayons so that she can pretend to write grocery lists. They encourage her to count how many items she has placed in her toy shopping cart. They accept her scribbles and letter-like shapes as her writing (just right for 4-year-olds) and help her when the numbers get a little mixed up.

Alicia will work with puzzles for long periods of time, too, especially if her dad joins her. Together, they figure out strategies for putting the pieces together. She may turn the pieces around, trying out different ways until she is successful. She is developing problem solving and persistence as she does so.

Your Role as Your Child Plays

Playing with your child helps keep your child engaged in the kind of play where learning occurs. Your interest, questions, and comments as you play alongside will help your child use toys productively. And the two of you will have lots of fun together! Most importantly, you will be working toward your child’s future success as a student by building important approaches to learning. Play and learning go together!


This article was taken from NAEYC and was written by Gaye Gronlund. Gaye Gronlund, M.A., is an Early Childhood Education Consultant. She works with teachers, families, and programs across the country and writes books and articles about play, standards, assessment, and curriculum.
© 2013 National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page

Car Seat Safety

Several questions can arise for parents as they consider  car seats and their child(ren):

“How do I choose the right car seat?”

“When do I know it’s time to change car seats?”

“When can my child start sitting front facing?”

“How do I know if I have installed it correctly?”

“How long does my child even need a car seat?”

I looked to the NHTSA website for some answers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, you should select a car seat based on your child’s age and size. The car seat you choose will give you the specifications for what age/size require a new car seat. The manufacturer will also guide you as to when you can turn your child to face the front. Children need to remain rear facing until they have outgrown the rear facing car seat.

Any local law enforcement officer will gladly help you determine if your child’s car seat is installed properly. Stop by any police station and ask or perhaps a local preschool will have a car seat check day like we did at The Goddard School Franklin (Cool Springs).

Once your child outgrows the forward facing seat with a harness, it is time for a booster seat. Deciding when your child can stop using a booster seat can be a tough call! Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Children should still remain in the back seat until at least age 12.

Click Car Seat Safety to see a quick reference for ages and car seat recommendations.

More safety tips when it comes to car seats and children:

-Never leave a child unattended in a car.

-Never let your child sleep in their car seat. To lower the risk of SIDS children should always be transferred to a crib for sleeping.

-Create a plan to always check your child’s car seat before leaving your vehicle.

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.

Age Appropriate Fitness

Focusing your child’s physical fitness on fun activities will increase your child’s ability to move with confidence and competence.  Exercise increases overall metabolism, builds a healthy heart and lungs, strong bones and muscles, and improves coordination, balance, posture and flexibility.

Infant

Encourage babies to explore activities that allow for reaching, rolling, sitting, crawling, pulling themselves up and walking.  ‘Tummy Time’ is the perfect opportunity for babies to practice lifting their heads and develop strong muscles.  Placing toys just out of reach encourages babies to reach for the toys, assisting in physical development.

First Steps/Toddler

Support young toddlers mastery of walking by allowing them to be active!  Play with them as they learn to run, hop, dance and throw.  Have them chase bubbles or invent a silly walk – play becomes exercise.  Remember to always provide encouragement to toddlers as they build self-confidence.

Preschool +

Preschoolers need plenty of time and space to run around and play.  Taking your child to a playground or park is a great way to release energy and exercise!  Encourage creative dancing and riding scooters and tricycles.  Play ‘Statues’ by playing up-tempo music.  Have your child move while the music is playing and freeze into a statue when you pause it.  Play outside with your child and teach hand-eye coordination by showing the basics of throwing, catching and kicking a large, soft ball.

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.

Busting the Binky Habit

You may cringe when you think about ending your child’s “binky” or pacifier-sucking habit. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “sucking is one of an infant’s natural reflexes. They begin to suck on their thumbs or other fingers while they are in the womb… Placing a thumb or another finger [or an object] in the mouth provides some children with a sense of security during difficult periods, such as when they are separated from their parents, surrounded by strangers or in an unfamiliar environment.”

However, as the ADA and most pediatricians in the U.S. will also point out, a prolonged sucking habit may cause problems with healthy growth of the mouth and roof of the mouth, as well as alignment of teeth. For these reasons, as well as the obvious social ones as your child gets older, it’s best to try to break the habit as early as possible. Most pediatricians will encourage stopping by age two, and many children will break the habit on their own between the ages of two and four.

To discourage your child’s habit, consider the following tips:

• Start by letting your child know that a binky is only to be used at bedtime and naptime. Give your child the responsibility of making sure that the binky is stored on her pillow or nightstand each time she wakes up.

• Peer pressure may encourage preschool-age children to break the habit at naptime while at school. Use this opportunity to encourage the elimination of a binky during naptime on weekends.

• Don’t put too much pressure on your child to pass up the binky. This may cause anxiety and can actually make it more difficult for your child to kick the habit. But, DO encourage every positive step in the process.

• Consider that sucking may occur when your child is feeling insecure. Comfort your child, address the stressor and try to resolve or redirect. Reward her when she avoids sucking during stressful situations.

• Ask your child’s dentist to talk with her while at six-month checkups. Believe it or not, for older toddlers and preschoolers, sometimes this is all it takes!

• When all else fails, you may want to consider the “Binky-Fairy”! Cuddle up with your child during a comfy, quiet, low-key time and break out your most creative skills to tell your child a story of the Binky-, Button- or Pacie-Fairy who collects pacifiers from children who are ready to be “big-girls” and “big-boys.” Let your child know that when she is ready, she can pack up her pacifiers to trade to the Fairy for a very special reward. Mention the Fairy on a regular basis—keep it fun, positive and low-pressure—and most importantly, let the decision about when she is ready be hers to make. You may be surprised how quickly your child is ready to make the trade!

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.