The Preschool Parent Blog

Learning beyond the Story

When we, parents and teachers, read a book to young children it is often for fun, for interesting characters, or to learn about our world. Beyond the pleasure and bonding, stories are deep learning opportunities for children.

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Play-Based Learning

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.

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Inquiry Based Learning

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.

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Playing Safely Outside

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

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Music At Home - Part 2

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.

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Music At Home - Part 1

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.



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Saying Goodbye to a Pet

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.



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Happy Holidays

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.

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Separation Anxiety

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.

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Feeling Great!

Do you want to know how to move to feel younger? Everyone has their own ideas. Walking, swimming, hitting the gym, and stretching like a cat are all great ways to move, but I suggest you take cues from your preschooler.

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Home Dads!

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.

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Exploring Fine Arts with Preschoolers

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.  

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The New Baby

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. Today we 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.

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Lying - It's Complicated

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.

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Immunizations – We all want the same thing – Healthy Children

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.

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Winter Nature Walk

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.

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What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?

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.

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A New School Year

Hello parents of preschoolers, here we go again, starting a new school year. It’s a busy time and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things you think you should be doing for your child. You may even feel pressure to sign your preschooler up for extra social, physical, or academic activities. I know several parents who have confided to me, that they feel like they are taking on too much, but they want what’s best for their child. If that sounds like you, read on!

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Nature - Know What to Expect!

Time outdoors is time well spent for children and adults alike. This post is an update of one from last summer because it's important to know what to watch out for especially if you don't spend a lot of time out in nature. Today’s blog will focus on introducing children to the concept of hazards.

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Art and Free Play

Parents often ask me, "What's the one thing you would recommend I do at home for my preschooler?" To be honest my answer changes. I might say, "Outdoor explore time everyday." or "Have a nature table or area in your home for all those natural treasures your child brings inside."
Today my answer is to have an art area at home where your child can freely play with art materials.

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