Monday, March 26, 2012
Getting your child to eat her fair share of healthy fruits and vegetables can sometimes be difficult. Here's a project to inspire your child to start eating super healthy: make a Healthy Foods Rainbow! In this activity, your child will color a rainbow, glue on fruits and vegetables, and keep track of which healthy super-foods she eats throughout the week in a colorful way.
Not only will your child's fine motor skills and and bar graph skills improve, but she'll also get to create a wonderful picture that'll help her keep healthy eating habits for years to come.
Create a Rainbow of Healthy Foods
What You Need:
· Grocery ads
· Glue stick
· 2 cotton balls
What You Do:
1. Discuss what colors make up a rainbow. Tell her the order of the rainbow’s colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). Color the rainbow.
2. Have her cut fruits and vegetables from the grocery ads. You might want to have her trim them smaller so they fit onto the rainbow. Try to find a healthy fruit or vegetable for each color of the rainbow.
3. Let her name the fruits and veggies, and glue them onto the correct color of the rainbow. For example, strawberries and red bell peppers would be glued onto the red section of the rainbow, while oranges and butternut squash would be glued onto the orange part.
4. Make puffy clouds to complete the picture by stretching each cotton ball and gluing it into place on the rainbow drawing.
5. Now hang the rainbow on your refrigerator to remind your child (and family!) to eat all the colors of fruits and vegetables.
6. Use the graph to show the different colors of fruits and vegetables that your child eats during the week. Beginning at the bottom of the bar graph, color a box for each color of fruit or vegetable eaten. For example, if you eat a carrot stick, color an orange box.
Can your preschooler eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables this week? Try it and see!
Practicing shapes is important for preschoolers, but most preschoolers would rather play outside. With the game, you get the best of both worlds: shape practice masquerading as a fun sidewalk game. Draw shapes on the ground, and let your preschooler walk, hop, and skip her way to learning all about rectangles, triangles, and circles. All you need is some sidewalk chalk and a bit of concrete to get started.
Twist N Turn
What You Need:
· Sidewalk chalk
· Flat, paved area such as a driveway
· Pen or pencil
· Slips of paper
· Small paper lunch bag
What You Do:
1. Choose 5 shapes you want your preschooler to become more familiar with, such as triangles, circles, rectangles, squares, diamonds, ovals, stars, pentagons, or cubes.
2. Write 10 simple instructions, each one on a small slip of paper. Try to incorporate color, shape, and direction. Here are a few ideas:
· Put your left foot on the pink triangle
· Hop to the yellow pentagon
· Walk backward to the blue square
· Put your right hand on the purple circle
· Hop on your left foot to the green diamond
3. Place the slips in the small paper lunch bag.
4. On the pavement outside, ask your child to draw the 5 shapes with sidewalk chalk in the corresponding colors you used to create the instructions. Remember, the shapes need to be large, so you’ll want to guide your child’s chalk work.
5. Ask your child to pull a slip of paper from the bag, and get twisting and turning, or hopping and running! Encourage your preschooler to help “read” the instructions.
6. Take this activity to another level by letting your child make up movements for you to carry out. No written directions needed, just let your child be “boss” and get creative!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Bubble games boost eye-hand coordination and gross motor skills, as well as language development ("Wow, that big one is really high up!")
2) Closet Musician
Fill a storage space or cabinet (preferably near the floor) with a variety of "instruments," including pots, metal bowls, wooden spoons, metal lids or other toy musical instruments. Then encourage your child to help herself to what's inside and give impromptu concerts. Clap your hands and dance along as you encourage her to experiment with playing louder and softer or faster and slower. Add actual music to the mix so she can play along. Making music improves coordination, listening skills, and an understanding of rhythm. It also encourages an active curiosity (what else can I bang on?) and sociability as she entertains her audience.
3) Stacking Game
Gather big, lightweight, homemade blocks constructed from paper bags and milk cartons. Start by filling brown grocery bags with crumpled newspaper, then use masking tape to seal the open ends shut. To add some smaller blocks into the mix, collect a few empty milk or orange-juice cartons, open the tops, and cut the corner creases to create flaps. Then tape the flaps down to form a box. Then ask your little one to help you decorate your blocks with markers, stickers, construction or wrapping paper, or crayons. Building and stacking boost both fine and gross motor skills as well as eye-hand coordination. Plus, these activities help a toddler learn about spatial relationships and shapes
4) Building Blocks
Encourage your child to stack his blocks as high as he can, or place them end to end to form a wall — or even a fort. Show him how to place smaller blocks atop bigger ones, and let him experiment with reversing that order. This activity provides lessons in cause and effect, as well as size and shape discrimination. It also boosts spatial awareness, problem solving, and fine motor skills.
5) Beach Balls
Inflate a not-too-big beach ball and begin by sitting on the floor and gently rolling it back and forth between you and your little one. Show your child how to spread his legs so the ball will roll into his legs, and keep the ball slightly underinflated to make it easier for him to "catch." This helps builds eye-hand coordination, gross motor skills, and social skills as your child learns to play with another person in a noncompetitive way.
Monday, March 19, 2012
- Make Funny Faces
- Help Your Baby Explore
- Obstacle Course
- Pouring Game
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Around 30 months is when children are old enough to learn from what’s on the screen. They learn best from TV when it’s designed by experts to meet their developmental needs. The following are ways to make TV viewing educational:
· Preview programs before your child watches them.
· Check the TV listings and program reviews ahead of time for programs your family can watch together. Choose shows that foster interest and learning in hobbies and education (reading, science, etc.)
· When picking shows, ask yourself, “Is this developmentally appropriate for her?” Sesame Street, for example is designed for 3-5 year olds, but most of the children watching it are only 16-18 months old. Shows that move from one scene to another quickly aren’t great because they can be disorienting.
· Participate with children. Parents should watch television with their children. Ask and answer questions about what you see (shapes, colors, numbers, letters, emotions, etc.) Parents can discuss program content with their children and can clarify actions and behaviors. You can also help them learn how to process the messages- including the commercials
· For preschoolers examples of well-designed shows include Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, or Dora the Explorer
For more information on making smart media choices, visit cmch.tv
Monday, March 12, 2012
Here are some suggestions of ways to limit your children's television:
- Turn off the TV during meals
- Set a good example-limit your own screen time
- Keep TV's out of kids' bedrooms
- Try a weekday ban. Record shows or save TV and videos for weekends so you'll have more family time for meals, games, physical activity, reading, and just plain quality time with your kids
- Stock the room in which you have the TV with plenty of other non-screen entertainment such as books, kids' magazines, toys, puzzles, board games, etc.
- Don't allow kids to watch TV while doing homework
- Treat TV as a privilege to be earned- not a right. Establish and enforce family TV viewing rules, such as TV is only allowed after chores and homework is completed
- Come up with a family TV schedule that you all agree upon each week. Then post the schedule in a visible area ( on the refrigerator) so that everyone knows which programs are OK to watch and when. Make sure to turn off the TV when the scheduled program is over instead of channel surfing
What about all of you? What do you do in your homes to limit the amount of television?
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Dr. Nancy Maynard, a Pediatrician at the Great Falls Clinic in Great Falls, Montana uses an analogy of children watching television right before going to sleep. She states, "I think of it as going to the state fair. You are on the midway, with all the lights and the noise. Walking away from that, I don't know how many people are relaxed."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 19% of parents of children younger than 1 year said their children have television in their bedrooms. Twenty-nine percent of children two to three years of age have a television in their bedroom, and thirty percent of parents have reported that watching television program enabled their children to fall asleep. Though some parents perceive a televised program to be a calming sleep aid, some programs actually increase bedtime resistance, delay the onset of sleep, cause anxiety about falling asleep, and shorten sleep duration. With children younger than three years, television viewing is related with irregular sleep schedules. Poor sleep habits can have negative effects on mood, behavior, and learning.
, among school-aged children adolescents, has been shown to be associated with poor habits disturbed. Cross-sectional studies found that /videotape was associated with late bedtimes disturbances among school-aged children adolescents.One longitudinal study demonstrated that high levels of during adolescence might lead to the development of problems in early adulthood.
The American Academy of Pediatrics found that among infants toddlers was associated with an increased risk of having an irregular schedule. This was independent of many other factors that could affect a child’s schedule, such as household demographic factors, maternal health, family interactions, as well as parental ability to maintain regular mealtimes.
These findings are potentially important, because a routinized schedule is a critical component of guaranteeing good sleep. Irregular sleep schedules can lead to inadequate sleep time and sleep problems. Studies among adults have shown that changes in schedules can affect the /wake cycle lead to inadequate . Irregular schedules can also be a sign of a problem.
Furthermore, inadequate among adults has been linked to impaired immune function, inability to concentrate, memory deficits, emotional instability. Inadequate problems among children can have effects on both the child the parent. Consequences for the child may include problems of mood, behavior, learning, poor health outcomes. It is also easy to imagine that a child’s problem could lead to inadequate for the parent, thus putting the parent at risk for, at a minimum, mood imbalances poor parenting. Adequate, high-quality , promoted by routine schedules, is important to the overall well-being of children parents.