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How to Teach Your Kids About Diversity

girl-with-globeChildren living in today’s United States are exposed to a wide variety of racial and cultural diversity, creating the potential for well-rounded perspectives and an appreciation of all that we both share and have to learn from others.

Whether or not your child is asking questions about different cultures depends largely on the diversity of your family, local community, and the types of messages shared with him or her at daycare or school. While toddlers can observe and take part in cultural activities that enrich their experience and broaden their horizons from an early age, grade-school children can put cultural and racial differences into perspective.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

kids-trick-or-treatingHalloween is an exciting holiday, intended to thrill and inspire kids of all ages. Parents are often amazed at the creativity unleashed in their children as they dream up costumes and even voices for the characters they wish to portray. There are many ways to encourage creativity in your kids, including allowing them to help make their own costumes and Halloween decorations.

Unfortunately, Halloween is also a time of year when parents must be extra aware of their children’s safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.” In addition, the candy children consume may be contaminated and must be thoroughly examined before being consumed. Consider the following tips for safety at this fun and fanciful time of year:

Helping Your Preschooler Develop Healthy Self-Esteem

self-esteemAs your child grows, helping her to develop a healthy sense of self is one of the hallmarks of good parenting. Children of all ages blossom in loving environments, but there are special ways that you can encourage your child to grow, depending on her age.

At Kidspace Child Enrichment Center, we do our very best to stimulate and encourage children based on their developmental needs. The following are age-appropriate self-esteem boosters that we use at our center every day. If you are looking for ways to relate to your child and grow her self-worth, consider the following:

The Best Profession in the World

Lots of people ask, “how can you do this (teaching) day after day?  I’d be in a looney bin if I had your job.”

 
No matter how many times we hear that statement (and we hear it often), we’re always so surprised.  Why wouldn’t everyone want to spend their days observing, learning, interacting,teaching, guiding, supporting, problem solving, hugging, and lovin’ on these precious children.  We know we have the best job in the whole wide world (second only to parenting!).  
 
 
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In all actuality, working with children takes a dedicated, strong person with a very special gifting.  Not just anyone can do this job (though many think so).  It takes a true professional with a heart and a passion for enriching and changing the lives of our future generations.  
           
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Our teachers, at Kidspace Child Enrichment Center, are a passionate group of professionals.  They are the warmth, wisdom, love and strength of the classroom.  They strive to build a community of learners.  The foundation though, of the classroom community, is the individual relationships the teachers seek to build with each individual child.
 
 
 
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Our teachers are the heart of Kidspace.  We applaud them.  We are truly thankful for each of them:  Anna, Crystal, Charissa, Dawn, Ginger, Gwen, Heather, Jeannie, Julie, Michele, Rachel, and Sue.  They are the best.  We are extremely grateful for their service and dedication.  We love them.

 
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Cheers to kiddos and their teachers and a fabulous twenty fourteen!
 

 

 

ROBINS – The Great Pumpkin Investigation

 

As most of you know, over the last few months, the Robins have been conducting an in-depth long term study of pumpkins. Please take a look at all we’ve been learning…
 
It all began in September, just weeks after school started. Miss Dawn brought in some green pumpkins her neighbor had grown. The Robins noted that these pumpkins looked quite a bit different than the pumpkins they were used to. One day a Robin asked what was inside the pumpkin and since one of our main goals in the Robins class is to provide opportunities for relevant hands-on learning, we knew there was only one way to find out. That day at circle time we cut one pumpkin open and let the Robins look, feel, smell, and taste the answer to their question. 
 
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DEVELOPING FINE MOTOR SKILLS

 In our last Spotlight post, we focused on emergent writing. This week, we’d like to take a step back and look at the importance of practicing fine motor skills, which refers to any small movements of the hand. We know that before we can even think of  helping young children learn to write, we must provide them with a multitude of opportunities to strengthen the muscles in their hands. Developing fine motor skills is an important part of kindergarten readiness, because as preschool children practice their hand strength and coordination, they begin to develop a greater sense of independence. It is our hope that throughout their time in the Robins class, the kiddos will develop their fine motor skills in a way that will allow them to gain a sense of confidence as they learn to do more things by themselves, like writing their own name, putting on their shoes, buttoning their coat, or pouring their own milk.

 
 Here are just a few examples of how we foster the development of fine motor skills in the Robins class at KIDSPACE Child Enrichment Center in Vancouver, Washington:
 
The Robins regularly work on projects that involve drawing, tracing, and cutting.
 
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ROBINS – C is for CUPCAKE!

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C is for cupcakes!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

We  began with a spice cake mix.
We read the directions and prepared it accordingly.

Then we opened a 15 oz. can of pumpkin and made some cool math discoveries.
We measured the can of pumpkin.
There is 2 cups or four 1/2 cups of pumpkin in a 15 oz. can.

We mixed the pumpkin into the cake batter.

Then we used another measuring cup – the 1/4 cup
measuring cup to fill the cupcake tins.

 

 

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We frosted the cupcakes with green frosting because we decided as a class
that green would be like the stem of the pumpkin.

 

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It’s fun to learn math concepts, especially when the finished work is a pumpkin cupcake!

Next week another recipe with pumpkin.

Miss Julie and Miss Crystal

ROBINS – Banana Parfaits

 

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We continue with our cooking through the alphabet which brings us to the letter “B.”

B is for Banana pudding parfait.

We began by smooshing graham crackers in ziploc bags.

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Next, we cut the bananas.
Cutting and peeling help us practice our dexterity and fine motor skills.
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Then we used a package of vanilla pudding and made it according to the directions.
Learning to read recipes and follow directions help us to understand the importance of reading.
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Now the fun begins!!!
The children put together their own parfaits by layering the ingredients and then repeating them.

The children discovered they made a pattern in a cup.

There’s a LOT of learning that happens as during cooking Fridays!

 

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