Adding a new member to the family is an exciting and exhausting time for everyone. Strong emotions will surface during this time of growth for a family. Let's focus on how to help your preschooler make the adjustment in as positive a way as possible, knowing that there will be difficult days for everyone but there is nothing like bonding with a sibling.
We live in amazing times when it comes to new knowledge about the universe. You can learn with your child about planet Earth, our solar system, and beyond. Unless you are a major science geek, you’ll probably find there have been a lot of new discoveries since you were in school. The new pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope are a treat for all ages.
It’s easy to over schedule young children. Make sure your child has plenty of down time. It takes quiet time to process everything your child learns each day. Try not to fill that time with too many classes and video distractions. Not only is rest important, but creativity often comes out of boredom.
Many people think music lessons are a good idea for children. This post is not about the specifics of why music lessons help with language skills, cognitive development, confidence, etc. I want to focus on what music lessons do for kids who aren’t going to play in the audition orchestra – even kids who hate to practice.
Children need space. Space to grow, learn, reflect, share, and enjoy. You don’t need a big house to provide space. A small clear area where your child can relax works. Perhaps a little corner where you can place a small table for projects and a shelf for art supplies and books. For young minds, less really is more. It’s hard to think and be creative if there is stuff everywhere.
As someone who loves to read, I want to remind adult readers about the joys of a well-written children’s book. If you want a pick-me-up, some deep philosophy, beautiful artwork, or some great humor, you can find it and more in the children’s section. If you have young children, you are probably already aware of these treasures, but if it’s been a while since you’ve checked out the children’s section, you might be surprised. Here are a few favorite books I reread, share, and even gift to adult friends.
January is a great time to get outside even if (especially if) your world is frozen. No need to travel to discover new worlds – they are all around you and your child. Study rocks, tree bark, grass, leaves, snow, and ice. What can your child see with their eyes? With a magnifying glass? With a pocket microscope?
Today we continue to explore various preschool philosophies to help you guide your child at home!
You may have heard of the Reggio Emilia approach. Local parents and Loris Malaguzzi, who was a teacher near Reggio Emilia, Italy, after World War II, created this curriculum. This is an arts and community based approach.
As we continue to look at tools and methods used by preschool teachers, today we discuss a fundamental: Play-Based Learning.
Without a doubt Play-Based Learning is a natural way for children to learn and something you are already doing at home. This is one of the best methods a preschool teacher can use and with a little thought, you can build on your "play" at home.
This is the first in a series of blog posts with brief descriptions and suggestions for bringing the preschool experience into your home. The series will cover various teaching styles that help preschoolers blossom. Hopefully a little something for everyone. Today, Inquiry Based Learning.
As we move through these unprecedented times, I am so impressed with the resilience and creativity of the preschool parents in my community. It’s easy to become so stressed and worried that you shut down - but if you have a preschooler in the house – you don’t have that luxury. Thanks goodness!
We live in interesting times. Children are often over-scheduled in the best of times and now with schools closed, children of all ages have had dramatic changes to their schedules. This may be a time for your family to make some changes. It is definitely a time for creativity to thrive!
Time outside is wonderful, but there are things you and your child need to avoid. This post is my yearly outdoor hazard update because it's important to know what to look out for, especially if you are not used to spending a lot of time outdoors. If you and your child are already used to spending a lot of time in nature you may want to skip to the bottom of the post for some good links
In Music at Home Part 2, we’ll do a short sample music session. You can always extend this session by following your child's lead for movement, dancing, and singing. Repetition is key for developing internal beat.
Remember It should be music that’s fun for you and your child.
You can sing or make up rhythms anywhere, anytime, but today we’ll talk about some ideas for having a regular music time at home. Some of my preschool families have been asking for ideas for a music class at home so in this, 2-part series, I plan to cover some of the basics to get you started.
Today a few thoughts on preschoolers and pets. Pets are a great way to teach children about responsibility and empathy, among other things. Unless you have a macaw parrot most pets do not live as long as people. The loss of your pet family member may well be your child’s first experience with death.
It’s that time of year when many of us, children especially, are overwhelmed with the excitement of the season and too much stuff. There are times when we have little control over generous family members and family traditions, so the key to a happy holiday season with young children, is to build in some down time and to manage expectations.
The most important thing you can do to help your child and your family enjoy the season is to take time to explain the plan of the day in simple, clear language.
Separation anxiety of some ilk is almost universal. It can happen very young, or at preschool, and even in elementary school. For some children it is not a big issue; for others it can be cyclical and continue to return long after you thought it was over. Separating from parents is the first big step out into the world. It can be difficult, but it’s so important for your child to know you believe in them.
Walk down any street in Stockholm, Sweden and you will see many parents pushing their preschoolers in strollers. As an American you may be surprised that dads are pushing most of those strollers. The Swedish economy can’t afford to leave out half the work force and gender equality is the law so parents take turns on maternity and paternity leave with their children.
America is not Sweden, but change is here.
When you think of art and preschoolers do you think of crafts and splashes of paint at an easel? Many people do and that is just fine, but you can expose your child to so much more. Preschoolers are the perfect age to go to an art museum. They often see more in a painting than adults! Preschoolers are drawn to color, movement, and mystery.
Parents of 3 to 5 year olds often get concerned when their child lies. One more fun fact for preschool parents is that this is the age when children start this important mental development. Lying is truly a growth milestone so don't fear lying, just be aware that its happening and it is an important development.
Preventable disease complications and deaths are adding up in the US, Europe, and other locations. Vaccines worked so well that we have all forgotten what it was like before we had them.
My parents were born in the 1920’s and hearing their stories of neighbors with polio, complications from measles or mumps, and deaths from whooping cough makes me so thankful that I have grown up and raised my family in the era of immunizations.
If you are lucky enough to live where you get snow in the winter, you know the joy children feel when they get to play, sled, build a snowman, and throw snowballs. There is also nothing like a Winter Nature Walk even if it's just at the local park or in your own back yard.
It’s hard to deal with those big feelings especially when they are hard to name. That frustration can make a child hit, kick, scream, grab, or bite. I have had the good fortune to watch many parents help their children through these feelings. I am often impressed with how well parents help their children to acknowledge overwhelming feelings.