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Grow Up Strong

MAGIC GROUND
GROW UP STRONG PROJECT
GROCERY STORE UNIT ONE PLAN:

We are changing our dramatic play center into a Grocery Store! Math and literacy learning opportunities into their play when they are pretending in the grocery store. The theme will be all over the room into each and every center.

Here is our planning for the theme/study Grocery Store. It is an 8 week food/ healthy theme study. Who doesn’t love learning about food?

We will add things to all our centers each week. We have 5 centers in our classroom: blocks, art, library, discovery, and pretend. Each week there will be a focus. The books we read, activities we do, and center activities we add to the centers all revolve around that focus. We also do a math or science study along with our classroom theme. During our Grocery Store Theme we will have a Shapes unit. The Grocery Store is FULL of shapes so we thought they would go well together!

The first week of the study we are building background knowledge and busy setting up and creating props for the Grocery Store. Students will make money, bunting signs, labels, and store ads (week 4).

At our Grocery Store the roles or people students can pretend to be are a shopper, cashier, and clerk. The toddlers will then start practicing writing. Even If they don’t know how to read or write the writing has a real purpose when it is part of their play. The cashier writes a receipt for the customers and counts the money. The babies will for sure to enjoy play and learn labels.The kids will take inventory by counting the items.

Shoppers write shopping lists in their “cars” before they go shopping.
Their “cars” are just chairs they put near the center.
We will use images of labels to put together a grocery list.
We will also weigh the fruits and vegetables using the scale.

We will be sure to keep shopping lists for their portfolios. To practice our fine motor skills, we will be making veggies for our store using different art supplies.

Preschool Nutrition is just one part of the equation for healthy children.Fitness and exercise are also important.

70% of children or adolescents grow up to have adult obesity issues. However, the results of a recent study about preschoolers did surprise me: 1 in 5 preschoolers is obese. That is such a high number. As early childhood educators, we have a great opportunity and responsibility to work with families to help preschoolers learn about nutrition and making healthy food choices.

It is our hope that we can help our children and families become more aware of healthy food choices that will help them to become healthy adults.

PRESCHOOL NUTRITION THEME LARGE GROUP GAMES!

Food Delivery!

Provide paper grocery bags and a basket of play food for the children to deliver to their friends from their bikes/ride-on toys!

Shopping Obstacle Course

Materials Needed: Plastic shopping carts, play food items, index cards, obstacles to go under, over or around (cones, mats to walk on, etc.)

In advance, write the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on several cards. Give the children a card and tell them they need to purchase that many items at the store that is on the other end of the room. However, they need to get past the obstacles to get to the store.

Have them follow the course to the “store”. Once there, they need to find the number of items as listed on their cards, place the items in a bag and then follow the course back to the beginning.

Book Suggestions for the Library

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Blueberries for Sal (Viking Kestrel picture books) by Robert McCloskey
Bread, Bread, Bread (Around the World Series) by Ann Morris
The Carrot Seed 60th Anniversary Edition by Ruth Krauss
Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Growing Vegetable Soup (Voyager Books) by Lois Ehlert
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura J. Numeroff
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (Child’s Play Library) by Audrey Wood
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

We hope you will enjoy our new project as the kids expand their vocabulary in English and Spanish. Exploring different healthy habits and inspiring our kids to eat healthy and live well.

Day Care Team!


Post Office Project


Toddlers Zoo Project

As we go into our 2nd semester of 2017, we reflect back on how many ways our children have grown by being introduced to and experiencing many developmental new challenges. One reflection would be how our children have adjusted to separation, while remembering that this behavior is normal. Another reflection would be how our children have adapted to accepting a new environment.

We can also reflect on our Zoo theme. Children develop valuable skills and knowledge by being able to identify the animals and the sounds they make.

Most of all, were having lots of fun while learning through play which include art, math, science, language, social and emotional, fine motor and physical development.

We would like to express our appreciation for all the support and encouragement that you give us. We truly enjoyed our trip to the Zoo with our families and can’t wait until our next project.


Mother’s Day 2017

September 11, 2017 / Moulinet Events / 0 Comments /

Cooking with Kids: 5 Reasons You Should Be Doing It

Children should learn to cook.

It’s a basic life skill, after all, being comfortable enough in the kitchen to pull a few ingredients into a simple meal. It’s healthy — a hungry 13-year-old who can cook, home alone after school, may decide to stir-fry some leftover rice with whatever is in the fridge; his noncooking peer is left rummaging through the pantry for anything that can be eaten straight out of the box or bag. Cooking is a source of pride for the children who can take care of themselves in this way, or feed a friend or sibling. They’re capable of cooking, they know what to do, they can get it done.


Why sit a 3-year-old at the cutting board when an older child can do so much more? Plenty of parents are reluctant to encourage a toddler or preschooler to abandon that episode of “Masha and the Bear” in favor of stirring a pot. By dinnertime, the household cook is often out of patience. Some kinds of “help” don’t get food on the table. Children spill, they switch the mixer to high when your back is turned, and they’re not safe around stoves and knives. Letting them do most things takes vastly longer than just doing them yourself.

As for older children, maybe they’re “just not interested.” Sports, homework, pressing social obligations … they’re busy, after all. They barely have time to get to the table, let alone put food on it.
But there are good reasons to encourage kids in the kitchen at any age. With young children, that early investment pays off — eventually. Older children may not be grateful now, but the time will come when they need to put food on the table, and it will help to know you boil the water before you dump in the pasta. Start now, and you may reap the benefit of a child who can take over dinner once a week or once a month.

Here are five reasons you should get your children involved in the kitchen, whether they’re 3 or 13.

Children who cook become children who taste, and sometimes eat. Involving children in the process of cooking — picking out the watermelons and tomatoes and plucking the herbs to add to a tomato and watermelon salad, for example — greatly increases the chance that they’ll actually try the finished dish. And hey, they may discover a new favorite. Or not. But cultivating a welcoming and open-minded approach to food can grow adults who approach life similarly. Arms open and mouth wide to new tastes, cultures and attitudes.

Cooking is a way to talk about health. Experts say that the single most important thing you can do for your health is to cook at home. Inviting children into the kitchen and involving them at a very young age fosters a habit that will have lifelong benefits. Also, it gives you an opportunity to discuss with a 3-year-old how fish (like broiled fish with chermoula) can help make you smart (fatty acids), how “eating a rainbow” ensures that you get wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and how eating plenty of fresh vegetables and drinking lots of water will “keep your poop from hurting when it comes out.”

Cooking is a way to talk about healthy ingredients. Children who have made ice cream and caramel (like strawberry-rhubarb ice cream with a caramel swirl) know what is supposed to be in ice cream. They know they didn’t add any guar gum. If they’ve made no-knead bread, they’ll know that good bread doesn’t need sugar. When you flip over packages in the grocery store, they’ll understand that you’re looking for things you can’t pronounce, and they’ll join you. (They may, in fact, police your shopping more than you’d like.)

Cooking brings cooks of all ages closer. For better or worse, you will get to know your children, and they you, more deeply when you cook with them. For better, you will share recipes, techniques and anecdotes that you learned at the elbows of mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers long gone. For worse, you will huff and puff and whine and lose your patience when they accidentally spill heavy cream all over the kitchen table while making mini-shortcakes with berries, but they will love you anyway, teaching you, the one who’s supposed to be the grown-up, about unconditional love and ready forgiveness.

Children who cook say “I can,” not “I can’t.” Sliding a spoonful of raw chicken or a piece of breaded fish into hot oil (as K J’s children did making ketchup chicken and an outdoor fish fry)? Daunting. Making dinner for six people at age 9 (A 9-Year-Old Makes Pasta With Tomatoes and Mushrooms)? Intimidating. A child who can do those can look at any restaurant dish and say, “I could make that.” That’s an attitude that can carry a child beyond the kitchen.

We hope you enjoy it :).


Toddlers and Biting: Finding the Right Response

Toddlers and Biting: Finding the Right Response

Trying your best to understand the underlying cause of the biting will help you develop an effective response. Children bite in order to cope with a challenge or fulfill a need.

Over time, and with assistance, your child will stop biting and use more appropriate ways to express her needs. (Credit: Zoeytoja / Shutterstock.com)

Biting is a very common behavior among toddlers, which means there are a lot of concerned parents out there. You are not alone. The good news is that there is a lot that parents and caregivers can do to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate biting.

To set the stage for effectively addressing this challenge, avoid calling or thinking of your child as a “biter” and ask others not to use this term. Labeling children can actually lead to them taking on the identity assigned to them, which can intensify biting behavior rather than eliminate it.

Shaming and harsh punishment do not reduce biting.

Children bite in order to cope with a challenge or fulfill a need. For example, your child may be biting to express a strong feeling (like frustration), communicate a need for personal space (maybe another child is standing too close) or to satisfy a need for oral stimulation. Trying your best to understand the underlying cause of the biting will help you develop an effective response. This makes it more likely that you will be successful in eliminating the behavior.

 

Why do toddlers bite?

There are many reasons why toddlers might bite. Some are listed below. If you think one of these reasons might by why your child is biting, read specific strategies on how to respond later in the article.Toddlers might bite if they:

  • Lack language skills necessary for expressing important needs or strong feelings like anger, frustration, joy, etc. Biting is a substitute for the messages he can’t yet express in words like: I am so mad at you, You are standing too close to meI am really excited, or I want to play with you.
  • Are overwhelmed by the sounds, light or activity level in this setting
  • Are experimenting to see what will happen
  • Need more active playtime
  • Are over-tired
  • Are teething
  • Have an need for oral stimulation

 

What Can I Do to Prevent Biting?

Questions to Consider

As you watch your child at play, you can begin to anticipate when a bite might occur. The following questions can guide you in identifying the kinds of situations often lead to biting:

  1. What happened right before the bite?
  2. Who was your child playing with?
  3. Who was bit? Is it always the same child, or different children each time?
  4. What was your child doing?
  5. Where was your child?
  6. Who was caring for your child?

 

Strategies to Prevent Biting

If you see signs that your child might be on the verge of biting, you can:

1. Distract your child with a toy or book.Suggest looking out the window or take a walk to another room or outside. The goal is to reduce the tension and shift your child’s attention.

When parents shift their focus and energy to the child who was bitten, they clearly communicate that biting does not result in more attention. (Credit: Szefei / Shutterstock.com)

2. Suggest how your child might handle the situation that is triggering the need to bite. For example:  Marcus, you can tell Ana: “You are a little too close to me. I don’t like it when you touch my hair.” If you think your child might be biting due to a need for oral stimulation, offer your child something he can safely bite and chew—a cracker, some carrot sticks, or a teether.

3. Suggest ways to share. Take out a kitchen timer to give children a visual reminder of how long they can each play with a particular toy. In a group caregiving setting, you will want to make sure that the classroom has more than one of the most popular toys. Sharing is one of the most common triggers for biting.

4. Reading books about biting can also help. As you read, ask your child how the different characters might be feeling. If you have an older toddler, you can ask him to “read” the book to you, by telling you what is happening based on the pictures. Some titles to recommend include:

 

What Do I Do When My Toddler Bites?

First, keep your own feelings in check.When a toddler bites, you might feel frustrated, infuriated, annoyed, embarrassed, and/or worried. All of these feelings are normal, but responding when you are in an intense emotional state is usually not a good idea. So calm yourself before you respond—count to 10, take a deep breath, or do whatever works for you.

Identifying the kinds of situations that often lead to biting will help you find the best way to prevent biting. (Credit: Issarapong Srirungpanich / Shutterstock.com

In a firm, matter-of-fact voice (but not angry or yelling), say: No biting. Biting hurts. Comment on how the other child is feeling:  Look, Madison is crying. She is crying because you bit her. Biting hurts.Keep it short, simple and clear.

Next, shift your attention to the child who was bitten. Often when a child bites, adults pay a lot of attention to him or her. This is usually negative attention, but it is still very reinforcing and can actually cause the biting behavior to continue, rather than stop. When parents shift their focus and energy to the child who was bitten, they clearly communicate that biting does not result in more attention. Showing concern and sympathy for the child who was bitten also teaches empathy.

Remember, learning a new behavior takes time.

If your child is verbal and able to talk about his experiences, go back and talk with him about the different strategies he can use next time, instead of biting: If Tyler grabs your cuddly and won’t let it go, you can say: “Tyler, that is my cuddly. Give it to me.” If he won’t give it back, you can come get me and I will help you. Or:  When you want to play, you can say: “Will you play with me?” Then your friend knows you are ready to play.

Help the children move on. Ask:  What would you like to play now? It might help to offer activities, like play-dough, drawing, or playing in sand or water, that allow them to release energy in constructive ways and can help them relax. The toddler who bit and the child who was hurt should not be made to play with one another, unless they want to.

Remember, learning a new behavior takes time. Your toddler may bite again, so continue watching playtime closely. It also helps to use the same words (No biting. Biting hurts.) as consistently as possible to emphasize the message.

 

Strategies to Respond Based on Your Child’s Development

Support Communication and Language Skills

If you think biting is a substitute for not having the language skills to express himself you can:

  • Put into words what you guess your child might be thinking:  Tanya, do you want to have a turn on the tricycle? You can ask Henry, “Can I have a turn now?”
  • Help your child express his feelings in appropriate ways. If your child is really angry, you can say:  Max, you are so mad! You are really, really angry.Then suggest a way to deal with these feelings: Making angry lion faces and growling, ripping up newspapers, punching the couch cushions, banging a drum, jumping up and down—whatever is acceptable to you.
  • Reinforce your child when he uses words to share his feelings:  You asked me for a turn blowing bubbles instead of grabbing them. Great job. Here you go.
  • Give your child age-appropriate choices, for example, about what to wear or who to play with. Having choices gives children a sense of control and can reduce biting.
  • Consider a speech-language assessment if you think your child’s verbal skills might be delayed.

Help Your Child Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

If your child is easily overwhelmed by lights, sound, and activity, you can:

  • Keep television and radio off or on low volumes.
  • Avoid big crowds and high-activity settings like the mall or the playground on a sunny Saturday morning.
  • Schedule activities with a lot of sensory input (like clothes-shopping or trips to dentist or doctor) for your child’s “best” times of day, when he is fed and well-rested.
  • Talk with your child’s other caregivers about his difficulty managing a lot of sensory input. Brainstorm ways to reduce the stimulation in his other caregiving settings.
  • Give your child a firm “bear” hugwhen you sense she is feeling stressed and out of control and perhaps about to bite. This can help children feel “held together” which can be very soothing.
  • Create a “cozy corner” in your house with pillows, books and other quiet toys like stuffed animals, or use a playtent as a safe place to take a break. Explain that this is a place your child can go if he wants to be alone or feels out of control and needs to cool down. Ensure that your child’s other caregiving settings have a “cozy corner” as well.

Explain the Effects of Their Actions

If your child is experimenting to see what will happen when he bites, you can:

  • Provide immediate, firm, unemotional (as best you can) feedback (No biting. Biting hurts.). Shift attention away from your child to the child who was bit.
  • Help your child understand about cause-and-effect:  You bit Macy and now she is crying. When you bite, it hurts your friends. Biting is never okay.

Provide Opportunities for Active Play

If your child needs more active play, you can:

  • Set aside time each day to be active.Take a walk after breakfast. Turn music on while you are cooking dinner and have your child dance with you.
  • Talk with your child’s other caregivers to ensure that active play is a part of everyday. Toddlers who bite should not be punished by losing “recess” time. This may make the problem worse.
  • Build activity into your child’s everyday routines—for example, doing 10 jumping jacks before lunch or stretching before bed.

Address Sleep Challenges

If your child is over-tired, you can:

  • Try incrementally moving her bedtime 30 to 60 minutes earlierover a few weeks.
  • Set up a schedule of naps or, if she won’t nap, “quiet times” when she is in her crib or bed with a book and soft music playing.
  • Avoid play-dates or other potentially stressful activities on days when she is very tired.
  • Tell your child’s other caregivers when she has not slept well or is tired so they can shadow her, in order to reduce the possibility of a biting incident.

Support Healthy Teething

If your child is teething, you can:

  • Offer him a teether or cold washcloth to bite.
  • Talk to your child’s caregivers to make sure they understand he is teething and to identify appropriate teethers in the classroom.

Provide Oral Stimulation

If your child has a need for oral stimulation:

  • Offer her crunchy (healthy) snacks at regular intervals across the day. Research has found that this intervention can actually reduce biting incidents.

When to Seek Help

While biting is very common behavior, it usually stops by age 3 to 3 ½. If your toddler continues to bite, or the number of bites increases instead of decreases over time, it is probably a good idea to request an assessment from a child development specialist.

This professional can help you identify the reason for the biting and develop a strategy for addressing the behavior. Remember, there is no quick fix. Over time, and with assistance, your child will stop biting and use more appropriate ways to express her needs.

What absolutely WILL NOT work to stop biting?

Shaming or harsh punishment do not reduce biting, but they do increase your child’s fear and worry—which can actually increase biting incidents. Aggressive responses like these also do not teach your child the social skills he or she needs to cope with the situations that trigger biting.

Biting your child back, which some might suggest, is not a useful response.There is no research to show this behavior reduces biting. However, it does teach your child that it’s okay to bite people when you are upset! Keep in mind that human bites can be dangerous, and biting constitutes child abuse. This is not an appropriate response to toddler biting.

For more informations please contact us at jana@magicground.com.