All posts filed under: Helpful Parenting Tips

Fall at Seasons

School is back, the temperature is getting colder, the air feels crisp and that means Fall is just around the corner! We have a lot of exciting events happening at Seasons during Fall. We’ll be hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 22nd from 1-4pm, if you’re in the neighbourhood feel free to drop by! Also, on Sunday, September 30th, from 1:00-3:00pm we will be hosting our popular Thanksgiving Treats workshop. If you would like to register please contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com for more information. New this Fall, we will be starting a Moms group on Tuesdays from 11am-12pm. If you’re interested in joining or receiving more information please feel free to contact us via email: info@seasonsfamilycentre.com or phone: (416)488-6550  

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Craft Project

This is a great project you can do with your kids or on your own! If you’re going to do it with your kids, you can take the opportunity to talk about reducing, reusing and recycling . You can use these nifty tin can holders to hold just about anything. We use them in the art studio and the kitchen! Here’s a list of materials and step by step guide to help you! Materials 6 Tin Cans (all same size) Nail Hammer Drill 6 Screws (plus two for the handle) small 2×4 wood (scrap pile at Home Depot) Metal Handle (purchased at Home Depot) Can of Black Spray Paint (or colour of your choice) STEPS 1) Spray all tin cans, 2×4 and handle with spray paint (make sure to do this in well ventilated area) 2) Once cans have fully dried, use the hammer and nail to knock a small hole in each can in the appropriate spot. You can then make the hole bigger by holding the can against the 2×4 and using the …

Children’s “Critical Period” of Learning and Stages of Cognitive Play

>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies << There are many types of play that use hands-on tools and manipulatives including sand play, water play, block play, music, drama, dance and creative arts that use open-ended materials. It is through the repetition of quality interactions and experiences in children’s early years that these advanced brain patterns evolve. For the duration of these “sensitive” stages of brain development, children go through two main stages of Cognitive Play. The first is called Functional Play. This is when toddlers and young preschools learn through repetitive, open-ended free-play (with no determined outcome). During this developmental stage, they repeatedly practice their mental schemes by interacting with objects, people and language in their environment. It may appear that they have a limited attention span and may wander from toy to toy, but they are learning as they attempt to manipulate shapes, fill buckets, empty baskets and knock items over. These toddlers are rapidly developing all of their skills as they practice using their bodies in motion. Meanwhile, they are …

Brain Development and How Children Learn Through Play

>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies << Brain Development and How Children Learn Through Play From a historical perspective, it is well known that children’s learning occurs in all social and cultural settings and that the best practice for all children’s early learning, includes artistic play as a natural childhood activity. According to ancient Greek Philosopher Plato, it is “the adult’s role to provide children with an environment that encourages them to enjoy learning through relevant and meaningful opportunities while surrounded by items that foster their imagination, ability to imitate, and an environment that contains materials that provide opportunities for repeated practice of skills, in order to prepare them for adulthood”. Likewise, it is common knowledge within the current field of Education that children learn best through active, hands-on learning experiences that include parent or teacher involvement, as a positive and nurturing role model. We know that children should be encouraged to learn by exploring their senses and motor abilities, as play helps them to make sense of the changing world around them. …

When to Start Toilet Learning

>> >> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies << Every toddler develops at their own pace, and it’s most important to take accurate toilet readiness cues from them. Typically, girls tend to be ready for toilet learning before boys, however with either gender; parents should resist the urge to introduce their child to toilet learning if the child is not ready. Major signs that your child is not ready include their outright resistance or avoidance of the toilet, their being stressed-out or crying about it, or if they adamantly prefer to eliminate into a diaper/pull-up, rather than the toilet. When toddlers are developmentally ready for toilet learning they will give you certain signs or cues. They begin to be interested in putting things away where they belong, they start naming body parts and develop the ability to pull down their own pants and pull them back up. They may begin to pretend-play using the toilet with toys. You may notice that their diaper is dry in the morning or they may be going …

Pre-reading Skills for Toddlers

>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies << Did you know that looking at the pictures in books is one of the first stages of learning to read? When you’re reading aloud to toddlers, help them learn by encouraging them to look at and discuss what they see in the pictures. They may seem young, but toddlers are smart and capable of developing pre-reading skills. Adults may find it boring and wonder why toddlers love reading and re-reading the same books over and over again. Toddlers feel completely engrossed in these books as they study the pictures and colours, listen to the rhythm, rhyme or patterns of the words as they are being read aloud by an adult, and master the feel and texture of the pages as they turn. For toddlers, there is a certain sense of control and predictability in a book that they have read and re-read. For toddlers, repeatedly “reading” a book (or looking at the pictures and discussing what they see) is hard work, but it stimulates their …

How Parents Can Help with Their Child’s Toilet Learning

>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies << How Parents Can Help with Their Child’s Toilet Learning When starting to toilet learn with your toddler, the first thing to do is emotionally prepare yourself to be patient. Take cues from your toddler to determine when they are interested and willing, toilet learning can be hard. Respond to your toddler’s interest in toilet learning with positive support. Toilet learning can be a frustrating, testing, exasperating and messy experience that takes time to master. Be sure to have the time to commit to the toilet learning process. Prepare yourself to be your child’s assistant, take to role of helper and always remain calm. If you realize that you may have misread your toddler’s toilet readiness cues and they seem opposed to participating, then put them back into their diapers and let them know that you will try again in a few weeks when they are feeling ready. Take your cue from them and move forward accordingly. Before starting toilet learning, ensure that you toddler’s diet …