Parenting

Teacher Tips: Transition Activities for Young Children

Transition activities are key to a successful dance class or early childhood program. Not only will they help you move from one activity to another seamlessly, transition activities can be your most powerful classroom management tool as they keep the momentum of the class moving forward and ensure that young children remain focused and engaged. Remember, idle time opens the door for distractions and off task behaviors.

Clean Up:

Clean up time can be very difficult for some young children. They may not want to give up the prop or toy they have been exploring which can cause distress. By establishing a positive routine, clean up time becomes a fun activity within itself.

During clean up time try to sing the song below until all props/toys have been put away. Some children can be very enthusiastic and want to clean up all the props leaving others without any which can lead to hurt feelings. Be sure to indicate how many of each item you want each child to clean up before singing the song. For example, “Can all my dancing friends pick up one hula-hoop from our obstacle course? That way we all get a turn!”  By giving the tots and kids control over the situation you are empowering them.

Components of Attachment

Healthy Attachment

As a mom, I have learned a lot about attachment parenting, and as a therapist I have learned a lot about attachment through schooling and work.   Attachment is important to the wellbeing of humans.  Studies are showing that children who do not have secure attachment figures in there early years often struggle with behavioral problems later in their childhood and adolescence (Kochanska & Kim, 2013).

Components of attachment include affective, behavioral, cognitive, kinesthetic, psychic and physical security components (Fitton, 2012).

Understanding Infant Reflexes

Infant reflexes

Infant reflexes are reflex actions that originate for the central nervous system. These appear at birth and gradually disappear as your baby moves through normal development. 

At birth you may notice the following infant reflexes.

o   Oral rooting reflex: This reflex is related to feeding. From birth a baby will turn its head towards anything that strokes its mouth or cheek. This reflex disappears at around 4 months when this movement becomes voluntary.

How to pick gifts for children ages 0-3

Toys, toys, toys! During the holiday season parents are surrounded by thousands of options that can quickly make giving the gift of play overwhelming.  Understanding your child’s developmental stage can help you focus your search on toys that your child will not only enjoy, but will also support their continued growth.

0-6 months:

During the first six months of life babies are working on pre-locomotor development: vision and spine development, and hand-eye coordination. Simple toys that can be enjoyed by grasping, mouthing, and observing are most beneficial for young babies.

Pomegranate Fun: A Fine Motor Snack for Toddlers

Looking for a finger food for your little one that is both tasty and nutritious?  Pomegranates are a great alternative to common snacks, such as Cheerios, that caregivers often place in front of their babies at mealtime.  Not only are they delicious, they also have many nutritional and developmental benefits.

 “Pom poms”, as my 12 month old son refers to them as, are often labeled as a superfood.  They are jam packed with vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.  Pomegranates are also a great source of antioxidants which are responsible for protecting the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. 

Sleep Matters: Interview with Sleep Haven

When my husband and I became first time parents the thing I remember us saying over and over again was how tired we were. Actually, utterly exhausted would have been more accurate. It's not like people hadn't warned us. We had read many books, visited hundreds of websites, and done prenatal classes that all made it very clear: we would be experiencing sleep deprivation. But nothing could have prepared us for the reality of how challenging lack of sleep coupled with the anxiety of figuring out how to care for our new daughter would be.

What Does Peace Feel Like Through the Eyes of Your Child

With November upon us, everyone is thinking about Remembrance Day and those who have given their lives so we may have our freedom. Often, I’ve found it difficult to explain Remembrance Day to the young students I’ve taught. For them, they haven’t seen the daily effects that wars have on families, homes, and countries. They are so far removed from World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War that it’s difficult for them to make a connection. I have found that teaching our children about peace has been a very effective tool as they can apply it to their everyday lives. Peace in the classroom, on the playground, and in their homes.

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