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Author: Lindsay Pereira

Lindsay Pereira is a Montréal-based freelance writer, creative writing Master's student, parenting and early education blogger, "mommy products" and children's book reviewer, and (exhausted!) mom of three darling troublemakers (including twins!). She has extensive academic writing experience in the fields of art history, anthropology, and English literature. In her previous (pre-mommy) life, Lindsay was a licensed MassoKinesitherapist and enjoyed writing and blogging on the subjects of therapy, health, and wellness.

5 Back to (Pre)School Tips For Parents

Getting ready for Back To (Pre)School time can be overwhelming – for children, educators, and for parents, too! But don’t fret, CubbySpot’s got these five great tips that will help make your preschooler’s transition into school much, much smoother.

1) Start a School Routine ASAP

Inevitably, we tend to slip into a late schedule over the summertime, going to bed at a later time and sleeping in ’til the cows come home. It’s important to establish a school routine as soon as possible. Luckily, children readily adopt routines, often thriving on them.

Try to get your preschooler(s) up and at’em in the morning at a regular preschool-friendly time every day. Of course, this also means getting your little one to sleep at a set time as well. Ideally, you’ll be setting this routine at least a couple of weeks before preschool starts. Regular morning and evening routines help their little bodies get accustomed to preschool hours.

2) Read Books About School And Then Talk About It

Use this opportunity to have fun and bond with your preschooler as they learn about all of the amazing things they’re going to do in class. There are tons of books you can purchase, or borrow from the library, about getting ready for this huge adventure. Or, you can even create books about going to preschool at home with your child.

Most assuredly, this will all initiate a discussion, so listen to your preschooler’s questions and concerns. Remind them of all the new friends they will make and the endless fun they will have.

3) Bring Your Preschooler in to See Their New Classroom and Teacher

Parents, this is something you will not want to overlook. Perhaps your child will not be new to this preschool, but a new year often means a new teacher and a new classroom… and that’s plenty to be anxious about! If there’s an orientation day or a Meet The Teachers Night, bring your preschooler in to visit.  Should there be a scheduling conflict, ask a family member or grandparent to take them. In doing so, your preschooler will start the year off with less anxiety and a lot more self-confidence.

4) Going Back-To-(Pre)School Means Dealing With Conflicting Emotions

Back to School time, more often than not, means dealing with separation anxiety. Trust me, it’s not just the kids dealing with separation, it’s the parents too! Parents, this is 100% normal. Luckily, this list of tips will help ease the transition and anxiety.  Parents may want to think about reading about separation anxiety and possible solutions to reduce the stress that comes with it.

5) Remember to Have Some Family Fun

These tips will certainly help you start preschool off on the right foot, but one thing’s for sure, having family fun time is something that will minimize all forms of preschool panic. Religiously maintain your family fun time, be it weekly or monthly times that are set aside. This also goes for your typical nightly sleep rituals as this routine is something that helps kids relax. Reading books together, sharing supper together, going to the park together for a picnic— these are all wonderful ways to connect with your growing preschooler.

5 Activities to Help Preschoolers Spell their Names

For many preschoolers, there’s nothing quite as amazing as learning how to write their name. Teachers may notice some early preschool learners that are already familiar with letters, writing, and what their name looks like written down. The next step for the class as a whole would be to learn how to identify the letters in their name and how to spell them out.

Here are five awesome activities that preschool teachers may enjoy trying with their students:

1) Learning Names with Necklaces

Preschoolers will enjoy being able to design and create their own name necklaces as they start to get comfortable with the letters of the alphabet. Teachers can provide their kids with different colored string, yarn, shoelaces, or cord that has already been pre-cut for this activity. Use these colorful ties to help them string together the letters of their name, forming a name necklace. This is a wonderful way to help preschoolers learn how to spell their name and to develop fine motor coordination, color recognition, and sequencing skills.

2) Learning Names with Stamps

Kids will be delighted about working with alphabet stamps, because, really, what kid isn’t?! Using stamps helps to reinforce their letter recognition and to become more familiar with how to spell their name. To spice things up, teachers can use various alphabet text stamps, as well as different colored ink and paper. Teachers can write out the child’s name on their chosen paper in large letters. Then, preschoolers can copy the letters in the name (in order) with the stamps.

3) Learning Names with Puzzles

This is a fun and simple way to show preschoolers their name so they can familiarize themselves with its spelling. Teachers write out the name in large letters in a thick text, as with a wide marker, on a piece of cardboard paper. Then, teachers would cut out the letters. Children will love piecing their mini name puzzle back together, all the while learning the correct spelling and letter sequence of their name.

4) Learning Names with Strips

Preschoolers enjoy playing matching games. This is particularly true when it ends up being a personalized matching game with their name on it. Begin by creating sentence strips with each child’s name written on them. Then, teachers help their kids play the name matching game by using ready-made alphabet stickers. The children would need to search for, find, and affix the corresponding letter sticker onto the matching sentence strip letter.

5) Learning Names with Fingers

Did you know that finger puppets can make learning even more fun? Children can use alphabet finger puppets to practice spelling out their name. All they have to do is place each finger puppet letter of their name on their fingers in order. They’ll have a great time all while being engaged in the process of letter recognition, pronunciation, spelling, and possibly even a little bit of dramatic play involving their hands.

 

***Download your CubbySpot Daycare Finder App today from iTunes or Google Play to find and request daycare spots!***

 

 

Creativity in Children

Gettin’ Messy! Messy Play in a Preschool Environment

Why is “messy play” such an integral part of early childhood education? Aside from offering children ample opportunities for learning, it fosters personal, intellectual, communication and language development, and, in a preschool setting, is a wonderful chance to encourage social and physical growth.

Communication and Language Development

While enjoying messy play time, children will have many opportunities to listen and speak with their fellow classmates. They will learn that they can use their words and hand gestures to share classroom materials, explain what they wish to do, negotiate and plan to play, and take turns during messy play time.

Physical Development

With messy play, kids are given the tools required to develop and practice eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Activities that develop eye-hand coordination, like stacking, spooning, or pouring, can be encouraged with water or sand play. While fine motor skills are further developed with activities such as practicing cutting paper, writing or drawing with shaving cream, or by using tongs to pick up objects. Tactile activities will give children the chance to become hands-on and compare textures such as soft and hard, and smooth and rough.

Personal, Emotional and Social Development

Messy Play is developed around children’s natural curiosity and tendency to question the world around them. It advocates a positive approach to new learning experiences. When it comes down to it, there is no “right” way for kids to do messy play, and this in itself is a real self-esteem and self-confidence booster. While having fun with messy play, children develop their concentration levels and increase their problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, working with other kids helps them learn about respect, self-respect, and encourages classroom friendship.

Creative Development

Messy play gives children the limitless opportunity to build their creativity and imagination with a wide array of materials. They can respond to what they feel, touch, hear, see, and smell, all through these sensory experiences. Children can also express how they feel through color, shapes, forms, and texture in two and three dimensions.

Intellectual Development

Through messy play, children end up with a better understanding of the world around them when they explore, create, investigate, and design with materials such as paint, sand, or crafting supplies. They will naturally learn to group items together and classify objects, organically arranging the items they’re using in a logical order. While they play in this manner, they’ll learn to identify, match, and understand cause and effect.

Messy play can benefit all children when used as an inclusive technique to group together kids of varying ability levels. Moreover, messy play is beneficial for children who are learning English as a second language since this type of play does not rely on words. As mentioned before, there is no “right” way to play, so children with special needs can also play, in their own manner and at their own pace, and still be a part of the classroom.