Books aren’t just for bedtime

Raising a reader in these times of technological gadgets is becoming more and more difficult. I am observing children who think that books are for bedtime only. They think that picking up a book at other times of the day is odd.

Ensure that your children are surrounded by books. Screen time should only be used in cases of long plane trips, long car rides (not in the city), or doctor offices. No preschooler needs an iPad or any other device. Get your child picking up a book instead of a device.

Furthermore, if the only thing you are reading is your email on your phone, then ask yourself how your child is going to enjoy books or reading? Children copy what they see. If you don’t read books, then your child is not going to read books willingly.

Why is reading books so important? It hardwires your child’s brain. Books open up a child’s imagination and enhances cognitive skills. Fine motor skills are worked on turning pages. Books build vocabulary and communication skills.

Utilize your child’s preschool and school book clubs to build an inexpensive library. Utilize our wonderful libraries. If you do all this, you will see your child pick up a book voluntarily just as often as playing with their toys. Furthermore, your child will enter kindergarten with a head start on reading and a love for books.

Early intervention for preschoolers

Did you know that Alberta Education provides funding for preschoolers that promote growth and development during the critical early years? This funding is provided to preschoolers attending an approved preschool and we are proud to say that Think Sun Preschool is one of the Alberta Education approved preschools. Our chosen agency is Big Plans and they have been successfully assisting our preschool students for many years.

This umbrella agency offers free services including English Language Learning, occupational therapy, speech, behavioral therapy, and physical therapy. These amazing therapists will come to your home, or use our preschool facility after school hours or between classes. In some cases, our children have received close to $20,000 in free early intervention therapy. These children then go on to kindergarten better prepared and equipped to meet the challenges of kindergarten.

Speech therapy is offered individually. Speech by the way encompasses more than pronunciation of sounds and words. If your child is extremely shy or lacks social skills, these amazing therapists, along with the preschool teachers assist and prepare these children for a kindergarten class. We have seen shy children literally transformed into confident and happy learners eager to tackle new challenges.

How do you know if your child needs assistance? You don’t until your child is screened. Some parents have been shocked when they learn that their child has deficits in, for example, fine motor skills. With a year of individual occupational therapy, most of these children are leaping into kindergarten.

There is no waiting list. Your child will have the advantage of trained therapists who will provide you and your child with first class free therapy. Take advantage of your tax dollars at work and give your children every advantage for their futures.

The catch? Your child must be registered in an approved licensed preschool such as Think Sun Preschool.

Yes, combining preschool and daycare can be tricky. But it is a ten month investment that has a lifetime reward for your child. Talk to us about logistics and ensuring that your child is able to access quality programming and therapy. We’ve dedicated 30 years to educating and preparing preschoolers for a kindergarten class.

Suggestions for ensuring that your child is ready for kindergarten

1. Allow your child to dress her/himself. It hardwires eye-hand coordination, balance and strengthens hands. Schedule enough time in morning and at pickup if your child is in daycare to accomplish this skill.
2. Allow your child to feed her/himself. Your child should be eating with a fork, and cutting with a knife at the table. Assisting with meal preparation encourages vocabulary, strengthens hands, and might even encourage healthy eating.
3. Read to your child daily. This is essential to building vocabulary and early reading skills. Turning pages strengthens fine motor skills.
4. Get outside and allow your child to run in safe open spaces. Allow them to climb. Doing so encourages confidence, strengthens gross motor skills, and strengthens hands for printing.
5. Talk to your children. Have conversations that require thoughts and more than simple yes or no answers.
6. Use wax crayons instead of felts for coloring. Felt markers do nothing to strengthen hands. Buy coloring books and encourage coloring inside the lines to strengthens eye hand coordination.
7. Don’t jump in too early to solve your child’s problems. Allow them to learn to independently problem solve. Encourage your child to do more for her/himself.
8. Play follow the leader so that your child knows what to expect when a teacher asks the children to line up.
9. If you know your child is shy, preschool programs are an excellent method of ensuring that your child won’t be overlooked in a busy kindergarten class. Experiences outside the home encourage confidence in managing different environments. Try to ensure your child is exposed to a variety of experiences prior to kindergarten.
10. If your child requires time for transitions, work on shortening that time. Teachers do not have time to wait for Junior(ess) to decide on when to start or finish required tasks.
11. Work on empathy and manners. The “treat others as you wish to be treated” works well for future years in school.
12. Ensure that you attend all orientation ps for kindergarten and maintain contact with your child’s teacher throughout their school years.

STILL WORRIED?

Preschool programs can assist you with preparing your child for kindergarten. Children learn how to function in a classroom setting and thus kindergarten is not such a big shock. If your child is attending a daycare, ensure that the daycare has an age appropriate program geared to getting four year old preschoolers ready for kindergarten. Check that the program instructional portion of class is not a mixed age group of 3-5 year olds. Three year olds are not ready to tackle the skills required for kindergarten. They should not be expected to listen, play or learn at the same level as a four year old. Nor should the older ones have to wait for a wee three to “get over” whatever the “issue of the day” these toddlers are experiencing at the time.

Halloween Hangovers

There are several schools of thought on how candy is handled by parents.

There is the “doling out” one piece at a time. This works if you have a child willing to abide by the one piece per day rule. However, there are children who decide one piece isn’t working for them and then there is the inevitable sneaking and denial scenarios. It becomes a tiresome battleground for all. Over the years, I have observed that children with limitations on candy/sugar tend to be the ones where “both hands aren’t enough” in wolfing down the sugar at every opportunity.

Next up is the trading candy for toys etc. This is a much better scenario in that the child is getting a reward and it won’t involve rotten teeth. This works very well for children with allergies as well. They can take part in the fun and still be safe.

Finally, there is my personal favourite. Let the children eat however much they want. No limits. A lot of parents are convinced their children will never limit themselves on candy. I promise you that the vast majority will have eaten their fill inside of a day. Yes, he/she may eat so much their tummy hurts or worse throw up. But! In reality this is a life lesson with natural consequences. Your children will not do it again and you will not be the candy police. Nor is your child’s teeth going to rot with a couple days of sugar. It is the long term diet that counts.

At Think Sun Preschool, we deliberately schedule a lesson on teeth and how to be healthy the day after Halloween. We have a tooth model and we talk about brushing away the sugar bugs sticking to teeth. The children are very aware of healthy snacks and have excellent ideas on how much candy is ok. We talk about how much their tummy holds by having them look at their clenched fist. We then demonstrate that they need to fill it with healthy food first and then have the treats.

Parents have many more important battles ahead in raising healthy humans. Battling over Halloween candy should not be one of them.

Happy Halloween everyone 🎃😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving playdough

Playdough is an excellent fun activity for preschoolers. It strengthens little hands and prepares them for printing.
Instead of buying playdough, you can make your own no cook playdough. Adding different additives increases the fun factor. Your child can roll long ropes and use scissors to snip off pieces.

This particular playdough keeps well in ziplock bags and doesn’t necessarily have to be refrigerated. Here’s our Think Sun Thanksgiving pretend pumpkin pie recipe.

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
Orange gel colour mixed in 2 cups of boiling water
1/4 cup oil
Pour boiling water and oil over dry ingredients and combine. I have used a food processor or a mixmaster and even just mixed by hand. It will look liquidy but keep mixing until it forms a dough. Cool. Give the child rolling pins, and foil tart tins. Enjoy! They always giggle when I tell them to tell their mommy or daddy that they can’t eat it even though it smells yummy🦃😊

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE🦃🌞