The Benefits of Playing Outside For Early Childhood Development

Benefits of Playing Outside for Early Childhood Development

Most early childhood experts agree that outdoor play is essential for young children. Not only does it provide them with the opportunity to explore and learn about their environment, but it also helps them to develop important physical, social, and cognitive skills. Here are just a few of the benefits that outdoor play can provide for early childhood development:

Physical Development

Outdoor play is a great way for young children to get the exercise they need. Running, climbing, and playing games are all great ways for them to develop their gross motor skills. Additionally, being outdoors can also help children to develop their fine motor skills as they pick up small objects or try to climb onto playground equipment.

Social Development

Playing outside also provides young children with the opportunity to interact with other kids and adults. This can help them to develop important social skills, such as communication, cooperation, and problem-solving. Additionally, outdoor play can also give children a chance to practice their leadership skills as they take charge of games or activities.

Cognitive Development

Finally, outdoor play can also help young children to develop important cognitive skills. Searching for objects, counting steps, or following directions are all great ways for kids to learn about their environment and develop their thinking skills. Additionally, playing outside can also help children to develop their imaginations as they pretend to be different animals or characters.

As the weather warms up outside, the best way to spend the days is in our backyards or visiting some of the best parks around your home.

The Best Elementary Schools Near Brooklyn Park, MN

If you’re looking for the best elementary schools in Brooklyn Park, MN, then look no further! Here are some of the top schools in the area:

Twin Lakes STEM Academy (Brooklyn Center, MN)

Twin Lakes Stem Academy is a public charter school that opened its doors in 2015. This school is a great choice for students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The curriculum is designed to challenge students and help them develop their problem-solving skills. The STEM focus helps to prepare students for future careers in these fields.

Crest View Elementary (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Crest View Elementary is a public school that serves students in grades K-5. The school has received awards for its excellence in teaching, and the staff is dedicated to providing a quality education for all students.

Zanewood Elementary (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Zanewood Elementary is a public school that serves students in grades K-5. This school has a strong focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Arts and Mathematics), and the staff is dedicated to helping each student reach his or her potential. Zanewood Elementary has a variety of enrichment programs that help students learn and grow.

Edinbrook Elementary (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Edinbrook Elementary is a public school that serves students in grades K-5. This school has a strong focus on literacy and language arts. The teachers and staff at Edinbrook strive to help students develop collaboration and leadership skills

These are just a few of the great schools near Brooklyn Park, MN. If your children are approaching their first year in school, consider looking over the enrollment services for the Brooklyn Park and Osseo area schools.

How to Get Your Kids Active During the Cold Months

During the cold months, it can be difficult to get your kids active and outside. You can try a variety of activities to keep them active, such as sledding or skating. You can also try out outdoor sports, such as hockey or skiing. You can also use indoor play areas such as playgrounds or ice rinks. Children can imitate their parents and siblings while enjoying outdoor activities.

Getting your children active during the cold months is essential for their physical and mental health. The cold weather causes them to store unused energy, which can affect their well-being. This can be easily prevented by limiting the screen time your kids have during the winter. By doing this, you will be able to motivate your child to spend more time outdoors during warmer months. The same applies to the parents. It is crucial for them to be physically active to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.

In addition to outdoor activities, you can also do activities inside. Some of these activities include video games and dancing. For your little ones, try bowling or karaoke. During the cold months, indoor sports like soccer or basketball are also great indoors. In addition to playing video games and walking, you can try dancing in the snow. You can even plan family dance parties. Whatever your children like, make sure they are physically active during the cold months.

How Daycare Teaches Kids to Be Resilient

Working parents want to ensure their children are learning the best they can while away at daycare. While there are many benefits of enrolling your child in a daycare program, one of the most overlooked ones is the resiliency it can instill in a child. Here is how child care centers build resilience in children.

Successful daycares set up spaces to allow the children to explore their environment safely, which builds up self-esteem, independence, and confidence. There are many hands-on approaches to learning at daycares, which can help bloom creativity in children. Many skills are learned from this approach, and since children are curious by nature, they will constantly learn more and more.

Empathy is one of the most important traits anyone can develop. At childcare centers, children are constantly working and playing with each other. This can empower children to do good for others, but this can also help them be more confident in themselves. Children are taught social lessons each day, and when they learn that not every child is like them, they begin to understand how to be more empathetic towards others.

Because of the social environment, children learn to self-regulate behaviors and develop patience. Tying in the empathy they develop, children become much more resilient. They may even begin helping other children who might have a difficult time with solving a problem.

Over time, you will find that your child overcomes minor challenges once they’ve spent time in a child care center. Their development is crucial to their success in their adolescence, and much of their learning can start at daycare.

Tips on Making Play Time Learning Time

All children love to play. But did you know that they naturally learn by playing? There is more to “having fun” when children play. Since they are actively making their own choices and being involved in an activity, children can discover meanings and build connections. As a parent, you want to ensure your children are getting the best educational experiences they can get, even at very early stages of life. Luckily, you can incorporate learning into your playtime. Here are ways you can extend your child’s learning through playtime.

For Two Years and Under

While you may not think babies are “playing” in the sense that a toddler would, they do experience with their senses. One of the best educational experiences for babies is a “show and tell” activity. Children start to interact with other materials as they get older, but when they are under two, you can make for an interactive yet educational experience.

Show your babies any colorfully contrasting items, or ones with lots of texture and noise. They will be mesmerized by the sight of some objects. You should have them placed within their reach, and encourage them to play with them. You can use any toy or object that is safe for their age. Many people don’t realize they are already doing activities like this.

Another way to encourage learning while playing is to “tell” them what they are doing. When your baby is playing, interact with them and describe to them what they are doing. You should show that you are curious about what they’re doing and ask them questions. For instance, if your child is playing with a red ball, you can announce, “I see you are playing with a red ball!” You could then begin to ask them questions about the activity, such as, “What does the ball do?”.

Playing With Toddlers

As children get closer to the toddler years, they begin to incorporate what they see others do into their play. They might also begin to play next to other people. If you notice your child fixating on an activity that other people are doing, you should ask them questions and encourage them to try the activity themselves. For instance, if there is another group of children working on a puzzle, the toddler may wander over and watch them figure it out. Explain to them what they are doing. “Those kids are fitting the pieces together to make a puzzle. Can you find the missing piece?”

For many young children, playtime can be an educational experience. As a parent, you should encourage your child to explore their curiosities, and be there to ask questions. The more you pique their curiosity, the more informational the experience can be. Playing can be an incredibly powerful tool for children!

Tips For Teaching Responsibility To Children

Children learn most when they experience the lessons they learn in school or childcare. Responsibility is an important trait that children should learn early on. Here are some tips on how to raise responsible children.

Be a Role Model

First and foremost, as parents, you should model responsible behavior in the home. Some simple steps are apologizing when a mistake is made, cleaning up after every mess, bringing a shopping cart back to the store, etc. Many simple moments in our everyday life require our attention, and involving your kids in them can help teach them responsibility.

Outline and Enforce Rules

Be consistent with your enforcement of rules. Make a few set rules for the house, and make sure you are consistently verbalizing them. You should also make sure you are always enforcing them for every child, and not making excuses for them.

Stay Positive

Maintaining positivity is incredibly important. When you have a chore to do, be cheerful about it when you ask your children to help. If you’ve finished your meal, say “Please put your dishes in the sink”, rather than “Why did you leave a mess?”. Positive reinforcement can be crucial when introducing responsibilities to your children. Another good tip is to involve yourself in the chore. After a meal, you could say “Let’s clean up the dishes now!”.

Parents will begin to realize that their actions rub off on their kids. When you show that you take care of your responsibilities, your children will learn just how important they are. Try to keep your kids involved in your daily activities as much as possible, as this will enthuse them to learn about responsibility.

How to To Support a Child’s Mental Health

Every parent should care about their children’s mental health. And in times like these, many children may feel stress in and out of the home. Regardless of the situations, they are facing at the moment, there are methods parents can take to ensure their children’s mental health is taken seriously. Here are some tips that parents can follow to support their child’s mental health.

Make Routines At Home

Routines are essential for children to follow, as it gives them a sense of structure and security. Many changes have been made within the last year that may have damaged this sense of consistency, such as remote learning, moving around workspaces, and other adaptations we have had to make to combat COVID-19. Try to stay consistent with your routines at home, and if they have questions about why they need to make these adjustments, provide reassurance to them. When children know what they should expect in a situation, they will feel in control.

Don’t Burn Yourself Out

As a parent, you want to care for your children. However, this can often result in neglecting self-care. You aren’t able to pour from an empty cup, so you need to make sure your mental health is in check. Practicing guilt-free self-care is crucial to prevent yourself from burnout, and it also creates a great example for the kids. Try to create a list of things to do each day to bring joy into your life, and maybe share those moments with your kids!

If you want to develop empathy and stress-management skills in your kids, you shouldn’t mask your feelings to them. If you’re having a rough day, share with your children why you feel that way. For instance, due to social distancing guidelines, many of us have not seen our family in quite some time. You might feel bummed that you missed another holiday this year, and your kids might ask why you seem so sad.

By telling them the reasons why you feel this way, you help them identify and validate these emotions. You can then create a coping strategy. For instance, while you were not able to have a face-to-face dinner with your family for Easter this year, you still managed to have a virtual meeting. The concept of reuniting the family on a holiday still exists, albeit in a different format.

Spend More Time Together as a Family

While you develop routines for your family, make sure to put effort into making fun routines. For instance, dedicate your Saturdays to exploring a new park. Look up nearby parks, or venture out into state parks. These small routines can help develop strong familial relationships as well as giving your children something to look forward to every weekend. At the end of the day, ask your children for three good things that happened today. This can help them practice gratitude.

Fun Outdoor Spring Activities To Do With Your Family

As spring begins a new season, many families are excited to finally spend some extra time outdoors. With Covid-19 restrictions still in effect for many states, many parents are wondering how they can entertain their children outdoors. Here is a list of fun and creative activities you can do with your kids outside in the Spring.

Make Your Own Bubbles

Every kid loves bubbles, but did you know that they are incredibly easy to make? The best part, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. To make your own bubbles, all you will need is dish soap, water, and glycerin. Mix the batch up, and get ready to blow bubbles in your backyard. There are many fun activities you can play with your children, such as a bubble tag, or a freeze dance. Whoever pops the most bubbles while the song plays wins.

Do a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are incredibly popular during this time of year, especially during Easter. You don’t need to round off some objects to have your kids find them. Instead, let them explore nature. Have them find flowers, pinecones, or even look for the perfect, roundest rock. Kids will love looking for unique items right in your own backyard, which is a great way to get them to enjoy some of the amazing beauty nature has to offer us.

Grow Veggies With Them

There is never an age that is too early to be taught how to garden. Bring your kids to a garden center and have them pick out a vegetable they would want to grow. You can teach them how to take care of the plant, from potting it to watering it, and as soon as you’ll know, it will become a bountiful crop. This can be an exciting way for your children to understand where the food you eat comes from, and it might even be the perfect way to get them to consume more veggies.

Take Spring Pictures

Many parents dread the idea of doing a family photo, especially with multiple kids. However, you can make the idea a bit more fun than just having them get dressed up and smile for a camera. Make the photo shoot a challenge by having your kids look around your yard to find the “best” spot. Then, you can take pictures in their spots. This will be perfect for updating your family pictures, but you can also do scrapbooks with them for a Mother’s Day project.

Spring is an optimistic time. Everybody is excited to see the warm weather arriving, so it’s a perfect time to connect back with your family outdoors. Consider some of these creative activities for spending time with your kids. It will keep them occupied for quite some time, and the best part is that it will all be spent outside.

Benefits of Daycare for Infants

Every parent has a lot on their plate right now, especially if they have a toddler or infant. Caring for your children can be a full-time job, and because of this, it can be difficult to support your family financially. Many families require the parents to be working adults, especially when they have little ones to take care of. There are many benefits to enrolling your children in a child care center, especially as young as infancy. Here are the reasons why you should consider daycare for your infants.

They Develop Social Interactions

Children must start socializing at an early age. When an infant is enrolled in a daycare program, they will develop social interactions much quicker, as they are introduced to so many other children. When they get to toddler age, they will find it much easier to develop friendships and communicate effectively with other children. Infant care also gives children exposure to other adults that are not paternal, which can positively challenge how they form bonds with different people. This helps the child grow and develop greater connections.

Care and Nutrition

Many parents have concerns about their child’s nutrition. They want to make sure their kids are eating healthy and getting the proper vitamins and minerals. Before the infant can make the switch to regular food, they will likely use whatever the parents provide. Once they are old enough, their meals will always be enriched with the proper vitamins and minerals to help their brains and bodies grow. Nutrition is always a priority when it comes to the meals fed to children and infants in daycare.

Builds Up Immunities

When children and infants are at home all the time, they don’t get exposure to different bacteria, allergens, and other germs. Mostly harmless, but oftentimes a young child who hasn’t left their home too often can develop reactions or get sick more frequently, as they weren’t exposed to such different germs early on. Infants’ immune systems are incredibly malleable and easily build up tolerance and immunities to certain bacteria and allergens that they are exposed to. Once school time approaches, it’s not uncommon for kids who weren’t raised in child care centers to get sick more often, especially if they rarely left their home.

The Benefits of Early Spanish Education

Introducing your child to a second language comes with a load of benefits. Not only will you give them a chance to learn another language, when they’re older, but they will also have greater access to opportunities because of their fluency in two languages. Spanish is also the second most spoken language in the US and the World, making it the best choice for your young children. Here are the top benefits of teaching your child Spanish early on.

Early Language Development Yields Higher Fluency

The most critical time for a child’s early development is typically before the age of 6. By that time, children are fairly fluent in speaking their native language. That’s because of how natural it is for them to acquire a language. So by introducing them to a foreign language while they are still developing, they will ultimately become bilingual.

A better understanding of English

Learning a second language can help you understand your native language better, especially if they share similar roots. Spanish is the Latin language, and while English is not, it still has many derivatives from Latin words. Studying Spanish can help a child understand English better and how language has evolved, which in return can improve their overall vocabulary.

More Travel Opportunities

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages worldwide and is the official language of over 20 countries. Knowing a foreign language opens up travel plans, as you will be able to comfortably explore the local culture. When your child is older, they might develop a greater appreciation for the world due to their exposure to a foreign language early on.

There is nothing more remarkable than watching your child’s language comprehension skills develop. It’s even more rewarding to see them pick up a second language, especially early on. Our Spanish language program incorporates educational lessons with exploration and play, giving kids the ability to experiment with new words!

COVID-Friendly Activities You Can Enjoy With Your Family This Autumn

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. And now that summer is officially over, a new season is upon us, one that is typically loaded with family activities. However, With the typical events canceled, and kids getting cooped up at home with distance learning, many parents are struggling to find ideas for keeping their kids entertained, all the while enjoying some quality family time. But by following CDC guidelines closely, you can still enjoy many popular fall activities with your family. Here’s the top COVID-friendly activities you can do with your family this fall.

Apple Orchards

Every fall, one of the most popular activities is to go apple picking. However, even some of the largest apple-picking events have shut down for the year. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t find an orchard near you. Many smaller, farm owned orchards are remaining open.

To ensure there are strict social distancing measures, they may end up allowing limited tickets and have timed entries, to ensure there are not too many people going in at once. So wear your masks, and wait until you get home to eat the apples. Make sure you and your kids wash their hands and the fruit thoroughly.

Scavenger Hunts

Fall is a great time to enjoy scavenger hunting at farms as well, but because this activity requires multiple people touching hidden objects, it can be a breeding ground for germs. However, you don’t need to bring your kids to an organized hunt. Instead, you can do it at home.

This is a perfect way to keep your kids entertained and enjoy the fall weather, and you can even get more creative with what you’re hiding!

Watching Leaves Change Colors

One of the more popular fall activities is leaf-peeping (a.k.a watching the leaves change to their glorious fall colors). This is quite possibly the most COVID-friendly activity, as well as the most festive fall activity. The best part of this is that you can do this from the comfort of your car or on a bike! You can always bring your family to locations that are notable for their fall leaves, but just make sure you abide social distancing guidelines.

Going on Hikes

Fresh air is the best kind of air, and luckily hiking is a fairly social-distancing friendly activity. The best part is, you can even get your fall-peeping done too! Make sure you check which facilities or parks are open at the time, and of course, be cautious of how busy these can be. Many playgrounds will still be closed in various parts of the country, so finding a park with safe and easy trails will be an excellent option instead. Make sure to bring your own sanitizer just to be extra safe.

There is no risk-free situation for COVID-19. Of course, the best measure to combat the spread of this novel virus is to follow CDC guidelines. But just remember there are alternatives to just staying at home all day.

How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19

It’s been nearly six months since the initial shutdowns or businesses and schools, but as we are winding down the year, children are slowly returning to the routine of things, adapting to the changing climate of the pandemic we live in. For many children who are starting childcare, they might be simply too young to fully understand the magnitude of COVID-19, and as a parent, you probably are finding it incredibly difficult to talk with them about it. So here are some easy facts that you can share with your children.

Define what COVID-19 is

Let your children know what COVID-19 is by telling them there is a germ out there that can make some people sick. You can inform them of the common symptoms–if they are old enough to understand–such as a cough and fever. You should also let them know that not everyone may develop those symptoms or any at all.

Explain how germs spread

If you have not already gone over the importance of how germs spread, now is a crucial time. Explain to them how germs enter your body. COVID-19 typically spreads to the respiratory system by touching the nose, eyes, and mouth. Some children might not fully understand what germs are, so let them know that they are so small that they cannot see it. The best way to prevent contact is by frequently washing your hands and practicing not touching your face. They should also be aware of social distancing, especially when someone has a cough or a sneeze.

Teach the importance of washing your hands

Taking practical steps will not only prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it will teach them important lessons to use later on in life. Encourage them to wash their hands frequently before meals. If they sneeze or cough, make sure they know to cover it properly, and then follow up by washing their hands.

You can demonstrate these fairly easily. An excellent way to ensure they wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Get creative and have some fun!

Talking to your children about COVID-19 can be stressful for you, but it can be even scarier for your children. The importance of keeping your children calm about COVID-19 is crucial. You don’t want to cause fear in them, rather keep them informed and encourage them to do their part in preventing the spread.

Why Is It Important to Reward Kids for Effort?

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there. You’re responsible not just for feeding and clothing your children, but raising and nurturing them into good human beings.

Having said that, there’s no fixed set of guidelines or one right way to parenting. Every child is different, and every parent is different, and therefore, good parenting can be different for everyone.

One aspect that is a must for good parenting is rewarding children.

The Importance of Rewarding Kids

Rewarding children for certain behaviors and rewarding hard work is extremely crucial to encourage them to continue doing it. Continuously rewarding kids for good actions will motivate them to repeat them until it becomes a habit. This is especially important when kids are younger.

The first seven years of a child’s life are quite important as during this time, their brains are rapidly growing, and they’re developing vital life and social skills.
If a parent can teach good habits to their children from a young age through a proper reward system, they have a good chance of sticking with them throughout their lives.

Additionally, rewarding kids, for example, by praising a child, makes them feel good about themselves. Consequently, it helps shape their personality as they have good self-esteem and self-confidence.

Similarly, there are a lot of benefits of rewarding children. It creates a positive atmosphere. Sometimes, it can even help discourage bad behavior.

How to Reward Kids

Some parents might think that getting their children their favorite toy or the latest gadget is the way to reward them. That is not necessarily true. Giving your child a gift is an example of a tangible reward. You can reward your children through intangible gifts, such as praise.

Parents must give both tangible and intangible rewards to not make them too materialistic. A simple pat on the back or praising their actions is enough to make your child feel good and motivated to do it again.

Rewarding kids doesn’t always have to be done after they’ve accomplished something. It’s important to reward them simply for putting in their best effort too, regardless of whether they were able to achieve their goal or not.

Dangers of Rewarding Children

Despite what many may believe, there is such a thing as too much rewarding. The main goal of rewarding kids is to encourage a particular behavior or habit.

If you put too much focus on rewarding, your child might become only focused on the rewards and not on inculcating those habits. Even if it’s intangible rewards like praise, too much of it can turn your child into a narcissist.

For parents, even the smallest of good deeds and tiniest achievements by their children can make them incredibly happy and proud.

From learning to tie their own shoelaces and getting potty trained to graduating from college and getting that first job, achieving these milestones simply fills parents with pride. However, to actually get their children to achieve those milestones, parents need to reward their kids regularly.

How You Can Keep Your Children Calm During The COVID 19 Crisis

COVID-19 has disrupted the world, and many are experiencing the pangs of shelter-in-place. And because people are home 24/7 it’s causing anxiety levels to increase in adults and children. As such, parents are having to deal with their child or children’s schooling issues while trying to provide for their families. This pandemic is exceptional in its magnitude and spread throughout the world. It’s on every media outlet and it’s at the heart of every conversation especially during dinner. And due to the adjustments being made throughout the world, it has placed an increasingly amount of stress on children.

Here are a few ways on how you can keep your children calm during the COVID-19 crisis.

Remain calm. The key to having calm children during COVID-19 crisis or any crisis, is for parents to remain calm themselves. Children pick up on their parent’s behavior. For this reason, it is important for the parent(s) to remain calm in order to reassure their children that everything is okay. If you as a parent is unable to stay calm during the COVID-19 crisis, your children won’t remain calm either.

Create a sense of safety. Getting to know each other as a family is a safe haven to kids in the midst of vulnerability. Since kids are more susceptible and defenseless in many instances, it’s imperative to focus attention on providing a place of safety and giving them tangible provisions such as activities that are calming, their favorite dishes, blankets, or favorite toy used to make them feel safe or that all is well.

Limit exposure to news. News reports can be overwhelming for children especially since certain details about an event are described using sounds and images that may be a little too much for kids and can cause more harm than good. It’s also a good idea to not to depend on the news to provide your child(ren) with the updates about answers they may be seeking. Instead, get verified answers to the questions they are asking by seeking out credible sources to help you explain what is happening in the world concerning COVID-19. Let your children know that their safety is your number one priority.

Take time to listen. It’s important to give space for children to communicate their emotions and anxieties. By asking questions that allow them to give more than a yes or no answer gives them an opportunity to recognize what they want.

Tune in to what your children are saying, rather than giving them the answers allow them space to answer as they see it. Afterwards, reassure them by acknowledging what they have said and what they are feeling is normal.

Let the children play. Play is each youngster’s common type of conveying and preparing occasions. Children can recount tales about what they’ve heard and how they feel, regardless of whether they understand it or not. Besides, allowing children to play keeps them from being preoccupied with events that might be a bit too much for them. Plus, it gives them a way to release their bottled up tension and energy.

Crises have a way of affecting us and can cause a lot of anxiety especially to young people. How we cope is important not only for our well-being but for the well-being of our children. Thankfully, there are ways in which to remain calm during the COVID-19 crisis such as, remain calm as a parent, create a sense of safety, limit exposure to news, take time to listen, and let the children play.

This is not an exhaustive list of ways to remain calm during the COVID-19 crisis.

What are some of the ways in which you are helping your children remain calm during this pandemic? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Ways to Create a Calming Environment for Your Children

COVID-19 has brought a lot of added stress to the world around us, creating a lot of uncertainty and leaving everyone at home. With your children no longer at daycare or school, it can add to that stress and be tough to keep that school. Luckily, there are many silver linings we can take away from this time, a lot of it coming from simply remaining calm. As a parent, you’re going to have to take the lead and help your children make the most of the situation.

Here are some ideas to create a calming environment for your children during quarantine:

Establish a Routine

Many children are used to following a daily schedule with a majority of the structure coming from school. As long as you lock into some form of a routine, your children will become familiar with the cadence and start to take things in stride. It’s all about providing consistency and stability allowing your children to form a new rhythm while everyone is at home.

Make Expectations Clear

One thing you can do for your children is give them a goal for the day and plan far ahead so they know what to expect the next day. Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of the day to course correct, confront each day with a plan that your child can understand. It may vary based on the age of your children, but if you dig deep you can find something that works.

Be Positive

This is a confusing time for everyone, there are bound to be some hiccups along the way, but simply being as positive as possible will be the best thing for your children. They are adept at sensing stress, so being positive will help keep things as normal as possible.

Practice Self-Care

When you and your children have downtime, do things that you can both enjoy and bond over. If you can co-parent, make sure you and your spouse take turns giving you a bit of alone time so you can be refreshed a little bit doing something you enjoy.

Know When to Bend the Rules

When the situation calls for it, try to be as flexible as you can. If you can end your work day a bit early to do something fun with your child, take that opportunity. Reward good behavior by getting creative. Doing this will boost morale around the house and enhance overall positivity.

5 Tips to Effectively Teach Your Child Through COVID-19

COVID-19 has left children quarantined with parents at home with schools and day care centers closed across the country. There is a lot of uncertainty now, but we have no choice to move forward as best as we can. Now that your children are at home with you, there are certain actions you can take to ensure that they’re continuing an enriching learning experience. Here are some tips to keep your child stimulated through quarantine.

Take Things Slowly

It will take some time for your children to get used to school at home. The best thing you can do for them is to calmly give them the information you need while slowly building their routine. Make sure you give them time to decompress. You may be feeling anxious now, but try as much as you can to not pass that onto your children.

Develop a Schedule

Preparation is key when it comes to trying to make things as regular as possible during these rare circumstances. When there’s no schedule for your child to follow, simply take matters in your own hands by giving them a structure to follow every day. An important component to remember is to give your children some outside time as they’ll need it to not feel so isolated. If you’re working from home and can swing it, this would be great to spend this time together.

Find Online Replacement Activities

Outside of school work, there are probably multiple activities that have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Luckily, there have been many people and organizations that have stepped up to the plate. A great way to enrich your child’s day-to-day experience is by enrolling them in a couple of these activities. If your child’s instructor or coach is offering these classes, take them up on it as it’s an excellent way to keep them learning and engaging with their peers.

Let Your Children Use Creative Outlets

This is a tough time for everyone, but there are activities your child can learn and/or participate in that can help them calm their nerves. These are activities such as music, journaling, and art. This will allow them to properly state their feelings about COVID-19 and how their life has been impacted. They could also discover a new passion or talent!

Be Realistic

Make sure to keep your expectations tempered. Quarantine is not a competition, don’t put all of your energy into one activity and burn out. Just focus on doing the best you can and don’t compare your child’s progress to that of other children. Staying calm is the most important thing you can do to assure your child that everything is going to be just fine.

The Top Back to School Tips for Parents

Summer coming to an end means one thing: it is back to school season. It’s an exciting time, but many students dread the return of a new school year because it can be very stressful. However, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience for your children, as there are ways that you as a parent can help make the transition from a relaxing summer break to a busy new school year a smooth one.

Make Mornings Easy

Starting your children off on a peaceful morning routine can result in a relaxing yet focused day for them at school. To start, make sure you are up and ready at least 20 minutes before your children. It’s smart to plan their outfits and breakfast so they don’t feel rushed and anxious before the school day has begun. You should also implement a “no electronics” rule before bed and right away in the morning to avoid any distractions that can cause them to delay the newly established routine.

Get Them the Right School Supplies

Make sure you are reviewing the list of supplies that are provided by the school or a new teacher. Your children must have access to them from day one. This emphasizes the importance of preparation, and your child will surely do much better school the more prepared they are. You can make the shopping experience more positive for your child by splurging a little bit on a fun folder or notebook. This makes the object much more exciting to use and your child will cherish it over the first option.

Establish Consistent Regiment for Homework

A full school day isn’t short, so it can be hard to get your children to do their homework immediately following their home arrival. This can make them feel burnt out the minute they get home. If they wait too late into the night, they might not have enough time to finish their homework. This could lead to the development of bad behaviors such as procrastination or not doing the work at all. To avoid burning your children out, you should give them a short rest period before they start their homework. A substantial half-hour break right after they arrive from school is the perfect amount of downtime. Make sure your child has a clean workspace and can easily access the utensils (pens, markers, etc.) necessary for getting the work done.

Update Your Calendar

While many schools and school districts provide an academic schedule that highlights key events, it is vital to highlight your children’s homework due-dates. Some teachers will give a monthly or weekly calendar, but that can change. Ask your children about more significant projects and make them on your schedule. The more you’re made aware of their schoolwork, the more accountable the child will feel for its completion.

What Are Some Great Winter Activities for Kids?

The winter doesn’t have to be a time to hunker down indoors and stay warm. There is plenty to do and see, even if the weather is a bit crisper than you would like. It doesn’t seem like kids even notice the cold if they’re having fun, anyway. Here are some fun winter activities you can do with the kids.

Sledding

Sledding is an old classic. There’s nothing better than zooming down the hill on your platform of choice. Just make sure that you go to a hill that’s safe, and that everyone is bundled up properly, since there will be much time spent in the snow. Smaller children should only ride with an adult.

Skiing

Skiing is great fun for the whole family. You can go cross-country skiing as a group, or go downhill skiing on the appropriate skill-level hill. It may seem difficult for those who haven’t tried, but after a quick lesson, everyone can get the hang of it quickly.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is like skateboarding on the snow. Lots of kids love this activity because it gives the opportunity to try out tricks and stunts. Kids as young as 5 can strap on a board, but this activity is a favourite for tweens and teens. They have the muscles and the balance to stretch the limits of what they can do.

Snow Angels

This one is good for kids (and adults) of all ages. Make sure everyone is wearing a full snowsuit, and get them to flop down in the snow on their backs. Then they can move their arms above their head and their legs back and forth. For more fun, you can decorate the angels with fun colors and even clothes.

Don’t stay inside all winter. Brave the cold and enjoy all their is to do with your family.

Child Development: 5 Essential Tips

Child development presents itself from early infancy all the way into the adolescent stages. Children are naturally curious about the world around them. By the time your child begins to crawl, numerous things at once will draw their attention. This is true even if it’s not particularly interesting to adults.

This natural curiosity is a gift, but can sometimes be exhausting to keep up with. While it can take a toll on parents, it’s important to keep facilitating this curiosity as children continue to age. Here are some incredibly valuable tips to enhance the lives of children through their development and facilitate proper growth.

Be a Good Role Model

Young children look up to their parents as role models. The way you conduct yourself in many given situations will be reflective of their behavior as they age along with their outlook on life. Try to think and behave as positively as you can, and your child will follow in your footsteps.

Actively Listen to Your Child

Let your children know that they can come to you whenever they need to talk with you about something. It is common for parents to become angered when your children ask an influx of questions. It all stems back to their natural curiosity. It can take some patience, but it’s important to answer as many of these questions to your children as possible. In these moments they are trying to be sincere. These moments should be valued.

Share Your Emotions

Children are really just smaller adults. They can tell when you’re feeling good and when you’re feeling lousy. Let your children into your life by letting them know what’s on your mind and good times and in bad. Even though your children might not know what to do on the surface, their presence and their knowledge that you’re not on your game will help them gain understanding. They may even find creative ways to make you feel better.

Go Outside

A great component of child development is to help your child appreciate the outdoors. There are so many things about the world your child can learn by being immersed in nature. So many skills they can develop by not constantly looking at screens. This is a chance for parents to escape the hectic nature of their day and simply be present with their child. Whether you’re going on a hike or simply playing soccer in the backyard, make sure your child spends a considerable amount of time outdoors.

Set Rules

It is important to set limits with your kids. As a parent one of your main responsibilities is to set your child’s expectations for the real world. Early childhood are incredibly formative years, and it is up to you to set appropriate guidelines for your child to follow. These will be incredibly valuable to your child as they grow up. You don’t have to be strict, but they should be sturdy. Rules are meant to guide your child. They are not meant to constantly punish them. Be sure to act accordingly.

Help Your Kids Avoid Getting Sick With These 6 Tips

Winter means many wonderful things. The crisp air, fun in the snow, and drinking hot drinks after coming in from the cold, just to name a few. Unfortunately, winter also brings with it some unpleasant things, not the least of which is illness. Colds and the flu are very common in winter, especially among kids. Here are some ways to keep your kids healthy during the colder months.

Hand Washing

Hands are constantly collecting bacteria, so they should be washed often. The best way to encourage kids to wash their hands is to make it fun. You can buy fun-smelling soaps, or even a motion sensor dispenser, to make it more interesting to wash up.

Sanitizer

Sometimes it might not be possible to wash with soap and water. Hand sanitizer will kill germs and bacteria on your hands when you are in a pinch and there is no sink nearby.

Layers

Make sure your child dresses in layers during the cold season. For one, you do not want them dressing too lightly. You also do not want them dressing too warmly, because they might sweat which will cool when they take their coat off. Layers mean that your child can have the right level of covering at all times.

Covering Up

It is very important that kids, or anyone for that matter, cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. If they use their hands, then they will end up touching door knobs and other things that will spread the germs to others. They should use the crook of their elbows.

Tissues Everywhere

Make it easy for your kids to have tissues at hand so they are not using the backs of their hands. You could have a box open in every room of the house so they will never have to go looking for one. You can also send them to school with smaller packs, and put those little packs in their coat pockets as well.

Keep Them Home

There is no reason to send them to school or to do activities when they are sick. The best way to get over a cold is with rest. Not only will it allow their weak immune system to do its work, but they also will not be a risk to others.

If you are interested in learning about Today’s Life Schools & Child Care’s Minnesota day care services, feel free to contact us online or call 952-358-2020.

What Are The Benefits Of Day Care Centers?

Ever since the industrial revolution, when not only the world changed, but attitudes towards gender roles started changing, day care centers became essential for many households with two working parents. No longer was it just about the man going to work to bring home the bacon. More and more women needed to leave the home to help provide for the family. Now, day care centers play a vital role in our economy as they allow both parents to make money and have satisfying careers. Here are some other benefits.

Environment

While the parents might be out of the home, that does not mean that the kids cannot have a home-like environment. Day care centers are often set up like a home, and the kids are provided with care, attention, and healthy meals.

Learning

Learning is a big part of every day care center. They provide age-appropriate activities and lessons that help the children get prepared for their school years to come. They can get a head start on their alphabet and number literacy. Parents can certainly teach these things, but day care centers are staffed by professionals.v

Social

Day care centers provide an opportunity for children to learn how to work in groups, and get along with others. These are vital skills to have once school starts. They will learn to adjust to different personalities, and share toys and other items with others without fighting.

Fun

With all the learning and sharing, there’s still plenty of time for fun! They play games, read stories, do crafts, and spend all day being engaged. They make new friends that in some cases, last for life. The staff are professionals in child development and also very knowledgeable about activities for kids.

Choosing

When you are choosing a facility, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. This means that you must visit the center to see how it operates. When you are there, ask about group sizes, and how many kids there are per class member. You will want to make sure that your child will not feel too uncomfortable or be lost in the crowd.

A day care center can help a family reach financial goals and help provide children with an excellent quality of life. If you’re deciding whether or not to send your kids to day care, remember these benefits.

If you are interested in learning about Today’s Life Schools & Child Care’s Minnesota day care services, feel free to contact us online or call 952-358-2020.

Fun Things For Kids To Do In the Fall

It is that time of year again when the kids go back to school, the air has a particular crispness, and the leaves start creating a beautiful mosaic of colors. The time between what can be extreme heat and extreme cold is the perfect time of year for playing outside. With that in mind, here are a few fun things your kids can do during autumn time.

Playing in the Leaf Piles

Remember being a kid and jumping in freshly raked piles of leaves? Kids still love to do that! Instead of being annoyed at your hard work being ruined, you can simply rake it all up again to continue the fun. You can create several piles, or one large one. Having several piles makes it a perfect spot for a game of hide and seek. Forts, beds, and other imaginative creations are all just at the swipe of a rake.

Collecting Leaves

The one thing that is unmistakable about fall is how beautiful it is because of the colorful leaves. Grab a basket or a bucket, and search for different types of leaves all over the neighborhood. Your child can collect different colors and different shapes. You could even hold a competition or a scavenger hunt for several children. This is a great learning opportunity, as you can teach them about trees from which the leaves came, and how the leaves will regrow in the spring. Collecting leaves is the first step to creating a fun leaf-based craft.

Tree Planting

Trees don’t just get planted in the spring. There are many places where the fall is the best time to plant a tree. That way, it will already be a little bit mature when the growing season starts in the spring. Kids can dig the hole and help put the tree in. Then they can refill it, and watch the tree that they planted grow throughout the years. You can even give them the responsibility of watering the tree, even if it doesn’t really need it.

As you can see, there is so much for your kids to enjoy in the fall. Get out there and have some fun!

How To Talk About Safety With Your Child

There are many things that we need to teach and demonstrate to our children as they grow up. One of the most important is safety. Part of a nurturing and loving parental relationship is keeping a child safe from harm, and as the child gets older, making sure they know how to keep themselves from harm, too. That means you will have to provide correction when they do something that is unsafe. Here are some ways that you can effectively talk about safety with your child.

Talk About The Behavior

When a child does something wrong, our first instinct is often to scold them. The important thing is separating the behavior from the child. Talk about the act, and the possible repercussions, but do not describe the child as “naughty” or a “bad listener”.

Speak, But Also Listen

While you certainly want to provide information, you also should make sure that you are listening to the point of view of the child. If they are old enough, get some feedback about why they did what they did, and do your best to get to the cause of the actions.

Stay Positive

The focus of any conversation about safety should be on teaching, not on disciplining. If your child does something unsafe, like runs into the road, only raise your voice if there is an emergency and you need them to move quickly. Otherwise, remove them from the dangerous situation, and talk about what they can do next time to be safer.

Find A Cause

If your child does something unsafe, take a look at the whole situation. What caused it? Did he not know any better? Was she distracted? Did you perhaps say or do something that caused them to act that way? Sometimes finding the cause and eliminating it will prevent the issue from reoccurring.

Never Forget That We Are All Human

It is highly unlikely that you are a perfect person, and have always been a perfect person. We have all made mistakes, especially as children. It is therefore unfair to expect our children to be perfect. They will make mistakes, and it is important that you work with your child, not against them, to eliminate the safety issue and prevent it from ever happening again.

Now Enrolling Toddlers & Preschool Age Children!

Now Enrolling Toddlers & Preschool Age Children! Great Care & Premium Education Starts Here. Best Eden Prairie Rates!

Today’s Life Schools & Childcare is devoted to providing the highest quality care and education for every child. Our curriculum for all age groups is built on enduring child development principles. Explore our infant, toddler, preschooler, pre-kindergarten, Spanish language, summer fun and enrichment programs.

Four Developmental Benefits of Dramatic Play

Four Developmental Benefits of Dramatic Play

According to experts, dramatic play is any type of play where “children assign and accept roles and act them out”. This means that whether your child likes to pretend to be a doctor or wants to be a mechanic working the big wheel, they’re engaging in dramatic play.

But dramatic play is about more than just play. In fact, there are four developmental benefits of pretend play, including:

  1. Intellectual – Dramatic play is known to help children solve problems, negotiate, organize and plan.
  2. Physical – Most play also increases motor development, strength and coordination (depending on the activity).
  3. Social – Social development means being able to share, take turns, cooperate, negotiate and handle disappointment when it happens.
  4. Emotional – Emotional developments might include feelings of protection, a sense of self and individually as well.

At Today’s Life Schools & Child Care, we focus on dramatic play, making our classrooms and facility a great location for your little one!