The Switch: “Big Kid Beds”

The transition from a crib to a normal bed is a big step in a child’s life.
Sticking to a routine can help make this adjustment a simple one.
Follow these steps when the time comes:

  1. bigkidbedTell your child to stay in bed until you come for them.
  2. If the child gets out, calmly lead them back to bed.
  3. When they return to bed, reward them with praise for remaining there.
  4. Tell them you will check in throughout the night, as this provides reassurance.

READ TO YOUR CHILD

A bedtime storyChildren love to be read to.
They love the physical closeness of sitting next to you or being held in your lap. And they love having your full attention in a shared activity. Reading fosters a child’s intellectual and language development. It’s also a comforting ritual that children come to depend on and something they will remember all their lives.

OUTDOORS WITH YOUR 5 SENSES

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.09.00 PMChildren learn best through their senses. Providing opportunities for them to use all 5 senses will allow them to have new experiences and make discoveries which promote brain development.

SEEING – Let them explore….do you see grass, dirt, rocks or ants? Look up….do you see trees, butterflies, bumblebees and ladybugs?

HEARING – Ask children what do you hear outside? Do you hear dogs barking, wind blowing, birds singing?

TOUCHING – Bury small items in the sand box. Ask them to explain what shape they are feeling? Round or corners? What size are they feeling….tiny, small, big?

SCENT – Ask children…..what do you smell? Do you smell the warm summer air? Do you smell fresh cut grass or spring flowers? Tell me about them….are they sweet or strong? What does that sent remind you of?

TASTING – Let your child help you choose a variety of seasonal produce. Have a picnic and ask…what does this taste like? Is it sweet or sour? Is it salty or bitter? Encourage your child to express what they are tasting and be descriptive

APRIL IS National Autism Awareness Month

autismThe aim of this month is to educate the public about autism. Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause.

Autism Is Widespread, Awareness About This Condition Is Not

In the United States, autism affects 1 in every 110 children. National Autism Awareness Month aims to make the public more aware about this widespread disability and the issues which arise in the autism community. As about 1 in 150 people in America have autism, the chances are that you know someone with this disability. A better informed public will be more empathetic and supportive towards people with autism.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Child Has Autism

Learn about early autism symptoms.

As a parent of a child with developmental concerns, you may wonder what to do if you suspect your child has autism. Autism is one of a number of medical conditions that involve developmental delays and impairments in communication and social skills. If you suspect autism, it is important to seek a diagnosis as soon as possible. Early intervention for autism gives a child the best chance to reach her full potential.

How to Recognize Autism Symptoms

 

Learning about common autism symptoms can help you figure out if your child needs autism screening. Typical autism symptoms include:

 

Early Signs of Autism in Infancy and Toddler Years
  • Developmental delays in many areas of the early childhood developmental milestones
  • Does not begin baby talk by 12 months
  • Infants and toddlers may not point or grab things
  • Resists being held or cuddled
  • Has no interest in other babies
  • Frequent tantrums
Signs of Autism in Children
  • Limited to no speech
  • Repeats words out of context (echolalia)
  • Repetitive or obsessive behaviors such as flapping hands, rocking or licking objects
  • Has no interest in playing with other children
  • No pretend play
  • Unusual play such as spinning objects for hours, lining up objects or playing with strange objects
  • Sensory issues such unusual reactions to certain noises, tastes or situations
  • Problems with body awareness such as an inappropriate response to pain

A REGULAR BEDTIME REALLY DOES MATTER

sleeping-child-eight-oclock-bedtimeKids who don’t have one, display more behavioral problems at home and at school. Most people don’t consider sleep a priority. Sleep is just as important to your health as exercising and eating well. Too little sleep increases your risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Children with irregular bedtimes suffer from jetlag-like symptoms and are more apt to be hyperactive and have emotional difficulties. They also show a diminished ability to solve problems. The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschoolers log 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night. Make sleep a priority for your whole family.

POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM

self-esteemWhen children master the challenges of everyday life, they feel good about themselves, particularly when you acknowledge their accomplishments with specific praise: “You climbed those stairs all by yourself”. When children receive concrete praise, they begin to see the connections between their actions and your response.
Parents who are sensitive to their particular child’s cues and clues will have children with positive self-esteem

Promoting Young Children’s Healthy Development and School Readiness:

Happy child with painted handsTen Guidelines

**Be warm, loving and responsive
**Respond to the child’s cues and clues
**Talk, read and sing to your child
**Establish routines and rituals
**Encourage safe exploration and play
**Make TV watching selective
**Use discipline as an opportunity to teach
**Recognize that each child is unique
**Choose quality child care
**Take care of yourself

March is National Nutrition Month

Family Meals: The Benefits of Cooking and Eating as a Family!

family-dinner
Enjoy the taste of eating right. Studies have shown that eating meals as a family promotes healthier eating habits at the dining table.

**Start slowly. Having dedicated family time for dinner is hard to come by, especially with a busy schedule.

**Plan menus together. Preparing meals should not always have to be done by one person. Have every member in the family participate. From choosing ingredients to cutting vegetables, everyone in the family can take part in food preparations. . Even small children can pick a main dish or the veggie or fruit.

**Set the right mood. Have colored napkins or place-mats of their favorite characters on the dining table.

**Talk. Conversations while eating together can impact the mealtime experience. Talk to the child and ask how their day is going, what their favorite color is, or if they made new friends today.

**Turn off the T.V., phones and anything else that makes noise. They create distractions that can throw off family eating routine.

The first years last forever

smiling-baby-face-motherAs a mother feeds her child she gazes lovingly into his eyes. A father talks gently to his newborn as he changes her diaper. A child care provider sings and rocks a new baby to sleep.

These everyday simple, loving encounters, provide essential nourishment. Just as babies bodies need food to grow, it is equally necessary that a child has positive emotional, physical & intellectual experiences for the growth of a healthy brain.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY

This month, the Olympic Games highlight what is possible when you keep your body strong with exercise. Every athlete was once a child that was encouraged to be active. You can help children get excited about moving by using common household items to design an obstacle course.

  • Olympic-Hurdle-RacePlace a board on the floor as a balance beam
  • Create a wiggly maze of masking tape
  • Stretch a hose along the ground as a “tightrope”
  • Use string to make circles and have children jump from one to another
  • Make a tunnel from a cardboard box for children to crawl through
  • Create a mountain to climb over out of a big pillow
  • Arrange stuffed animals or large blocks for children to weave around
Let your imagination run wild designing your course, have fun and along the way get some great exercise!