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🦃🌞

Preschool for English Language Learners

Kindergarten is not the best place for five year olds to start learning English. Unfortunately, too many English language learners (ELL) preschoolers are not getting the head start in learning that they need. Some parents have a belief that preschool is an expensive luxury and not necessary for children whose first language is not English. There is a belief that these children will somehow “pick up the language “ quickly. While this may be true, enrolling these children in preschool gives these children a better advantage. These same children who have been given the benefit of English Language Learning in a preschool setting are much more prepared for a kindergarten classroom. Too many families who don’t speak English do not realize or know that select approved licensed preschools like Think Sun have Alberta government approved agencies that provide free assistance for English Language Learners. Further there are subsidies available for stay at home parents that will enable these preschoolers to have a head start on English Language Learning.

This is not to say that preserving first language is not important. It is saying that giving all children a head start for kindergarten is something that shouldn’t be missed.

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.

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 🌞🦋🌺