Chew chew chew

Parents are fed a daily avalanche of fear through their devices. Every day there seems to be stories of children dying from bizarre or even every day activities. This fear has parents cutting up their childrens’ food into tiny little pieces and avoiding all food that is considered to be “chokey”. By not allowing children to cut their own meat, etc. their hands are weak. Jaws are not developing because they are sucking applesauce out of pouches instead of biting into an unpeeled apple. Children need hard crunchy food to develop strong jaw muscles which enable speech sounds to develop correctly.

What to do? Start putting a knife and fork at your child’s place setting. Children as young as three can begin cutting deli meat, etc and then graduate to cutting their own beef/pork/chicken as they grow. Get those whole apples, carrots and hard raw vegetables into their snacks. Get your children helping to prepare meals. It might help with picky eaters to enlist them in making meals. Enforce eating at the table and no talking with food in their mouths. It may take awhile to get your child to enjoy eating hard crunchy fruit and vegetables, but persevere.

Why Preschool?

Preschool is sometimes viewed as a luxury.  However, the first five years are key to a child’s development. With the increasing use of technology, preschoolers are lagging in cognitive, fine and gross motor skills. Preschool classes are an important part of assisting in the development of key skills needed for kindergarten. Yes, quality programs are expensive, and, for ten months, it seems like all you do is rush to drop off and rush to pick up your child. However, those ten months of sacrifice ensures that your child is ready to tackle kindergarten and beyond with confidence.

The Think Sun Preschool prepares preschoolers who will be attending John Costello Elementary, St Joan of Arc Elementary, Battalion Park Elementary, Olympic Heights Elementary.

Think Sun Preschool prepares children for private school kindergarten.

Are you considering private schools such as Masters Academy, Rundle College, Webber Academy or Calgary French International School?

Calgary parents are blessed with a variety of private school options. However, some, not all, private schools have entrance tests for prospective kindergarten students.

Think Sun graduates are prepared for a variety of classrooms and are more than prepared for any type of learning situation. Through our cross curriculum, we ensure that our students are familiar with phonics, letter and number recognition. Further our graduates are able to follow oral and visual directions as well as creatively and independently problem solve. We are proud of our proven program and are confident in our graduates’ preparedness for Masters Academy, Calgary French International School, Webber Academy and Rundle College.

What does my child need to know for kindergarten?

Every parent wants their child to do well in school. Too many parents think that preparing their preschoolers for kindergarten involves knowing ABC’S and numbers. They couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s a checklist of skills your four year old should be able to do by the time he/she enters kindergarten.

CHECKLIST FOR KINDERGARTEN ENTRY

§ Dressing skills including independently putting on jackets, shoes, boots, hats, etc. Can your child hang up his/her own coat with little help?

§. Independent feeding skills including opening, closing lunch bags, containers. Can your child eat with a fork? Cut with a knife? While cutting with a knife will likely not be done at school, it does indicate hand strength. If your child is unable to manage eating with utensils, how is she/he going to manage a pencil for printing?

§. Is your child able to speak to a teacher to voice needs such as going to the washroom? Can she/he take care of sanitary issues like independent wiping?

§. Can your child accomplish a task in a certain amount of time with a minimum of supervision?

§. Can your child listen to three instructions and carry them out?

§. How does your child handle disappointment? Boredom? Excitement? If your child dissolves at the first hint of disappointment, needs constant supervision, or cannot self regulate, it is time to be working on those skills.

§. Can your child play? Some children have difficulty playing with their peers. Ensure that he/she gets opportunities to practice social skills.

§. Can your child sit on the floor comfortably or does he/she flop over after a couple of minutes? This may indicate weak core muscles.

All of these skills are practiced in a preschool setting, but can be done at home as well. However, if your child is having difficulty in any specific area mentioned above, a licensed preschool has access to more assistance and is an excellent resource for ensuring that your child flourishes in kindergarten.

SUMMER🌞

Summer is fast approaching and parents are bombarded with frightening warnings such as “avoid the summer slide”. They rush to enroll their children in academic activities out of fear that their children will somehow forget an entire year’s worth of learning in two months. While educators disagree as to how much learning is lost in a summer, my advice is to embrace the summer and utilize the outdoors to enhance your child’ brain development through physical activities.

Here are 10 activities for development of gross motor skills
1. Scooter board races
2. Shooting baskets
3. Volleyball
4. Swimming
5. Playing with yo-yo’s
6. Jump rope
7. Riding a bike
8. Swinging
9. Playground climbing walls or just climbing rocks
10. Wheelbarrow races/hide ‘n seek

Here are 10 Rainy Day Activities to develop visual motor skills
1. Copy patterns using shapes, pegs
2. Put together models
3. Dot-to-dot
4. Mazes
5. Puzzles
6. Tracing pictures/letters
7. Cut straws into small pieces and string them to make a necklace
8. Cut play dough into small pieces
9. Cut shapes out of different mediums like foam, tag board
10. Make books utilizing old magazines or cereal boxes

Everyday activities such as baking cookies enhances and supports math and readiness skills. Encouraging children to be creative in developing their own activities supports problem solving skills. Boredom is not something to be avoided. Try not to jump in with planned activities for every moment of the summer. There is learning in lying in the grass looking up at the clouds. There is learning in allowing your child to develop her/his own list of “stuff” he/she would like to do. The act of doing nothing is actually rejuvenating for all.

Finally there is no APP for a child to enjoy her/his summer. Throw out the routines and embrace randomness. Sneak in a little learning with everyday activities. HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE 🌞🦋🌺