Discovery Days and Kids Connection Child Care Centers exist to provide quality early childhood educational programming to children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. The programming, by its nature is “entire child” focused. But what does this actually mean?
Entire child education is way of viewing education that recognizes that all aspects of their development needed to be tended to and nurtured. Children deserve programming that is attuned to their physical, emotional, social, cognitive, psychological, and language needs. It is essential to recognize that children are not defined by their development in one domain, they are the sum of their parts.
Educational institutions must recognize that every child excels in different developmental areas. Some children are gifted physically with excellent fine motor skills, while others have exceptional emotional agility for their age. Regardless of what their strengths is, it is important to recognize that every child has one. At Kids Connection and Discovery Days, we believe that programming must reach every developmental domain, and be enjoyable for it to be productive.
Educating the entire child focuses on building the strengths of each individual child, while also providing additional support where it is needed. For example, our programming provides additional assistance for children who struggle with speech at a young age by ensuring that additional time is spent working with the child on phonics, enunciation, and language. This support is often embedded in learning that is taking place in the other domains, such as in an activity that promotes physical development (like outdoor play).
One of the benefits of entire child education is that this philosophy sees all developmental domains as equal in importance. Schools used to take a cognitive approach to education, which was focused on providing instruction that enhanced their cognitive function. It is important to be attuned to the cognitive function of each child, but to educate a child cognitively but ignore their other developmental domains does them a disservice. As was previously stated, children are not one domain, they are the sum of their parts. Each part deserves attention.
School’s out for Summer, and its time to think of things to do! With the world re-opening from COVID-19 restrictions, some of us still may be a bit weary of different activities. We have curated a list of 20 activities to do outside from home! Comment below some of your favorite activities to do outside!
1. Fly a Kite
2. Plant a garden
3. Draw with chalk in the driveway
4. Run through the sprinkler
5. Read outside
6. Use laundry baskets to play frisbee golf
7. Do a sac race with pillowcases
8. Make homemade popsicles
9. Tie-dye shirts, beach towels, shorts, dresses, sheets, etc.
10. Have a bonfire
11. Ride bikes
12. Play hopscotch
13. Make slime
14. Play hide and seek
15. Hula hoop
16. Jump rope
17. Play catch with a ball
18. Play tag with a wet sponge
19. Water fight
20. Roller blade
Research has proven repeatedly that quality early childhood education lead to a lifetime of positive effects for the attending child. Discovery Days and Kids Connection Child Care Centers exist to provide the care that makes the difference, to attend to the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of children ranging in age from 6-week-old infant to the precocious and curious 12-year-old. Research has finally caught up in conveying what we already knew: quality early learning environments make an overwhelmingly positive effect on children.
Here are a few things the research has shown about the effects of children experiencing high quality early childhood education:
Is your child staying up past their bedtime? Are they restless? Full of energy? Well some things may be keeping them up that we don’t even realize!
Fruit! Pineapples and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, are acidic, which can irritate sensitive bladders. While that slight irritation poses no health risks, it may be forcing your little one to go to the bathroom during the night, possibly multiple times. Your little one's favorite fruits and juices are best consumed earlier in the day.
Keep pets out of the bedroom! Dogs and cats are great for cuddling, but not for sleep. Donielle Wilson, a naturopathic doctor who sees many insomnia patients and is working on a book about natural solutions for sleep, says that pets wake up their owners too often. Even little critters like hamsters can get noisy enough to interrupt a kid’s sleep, so Wilson recommends that cages don’t stay in the room, either.
Dust frequently! If your child coughs or sneezes while asleep, or after wrapping themselves in their comfy blanket, they may be allergic to dust mites, the tiny microscopic creatures found in just about every home on Earth. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites live in pillows, comforters and couches. While the mites are harmless to humans directly, they secrete a protein that can irritate our respiratory system. To minimize allergies, wash bedding frequently, avoid feather or down blankets and keep rooms dry and dust-free.
Establish a routine! Kids are creatures of habit -- both psychologically and physiologically. They do better with well-established schedules around homework time, dinner time and getting-ready-for-bed time. Create a bedtime routine that eliminates energizing activities and promotes calm and relaxation, such as reading or putting toys away.
Too much screen time! Children love swiping on Ipads, phones, computers, etc. However, they emit a Blue Light that decreases the production of sleep melatonin. That messes up the body’s internal clock and may keep our little ones awake longer.
Quality family time! Research suggests that sleep can improve simply by spending quality time as a family.
Ahh the season of giving! Its much more fun to give, than it is to receive. Sometimes its hard to teach our little ones that. Giving or sharing a toy can provide happiness for someone else, and that’s an amazing gift to give someone. But you cannot give what you don’t have. We are going to discuss things that can be given to others, that don’t cost a penny!
Some people may say, “Time is Money.” We try to live by a different motto, “Time isn’t guaranteed, so spend it with those you love.” Give your children or family members your time this holiday season. Watch a Christmas movie, play a game, build a gingerbread house, decorate the tree, etc. Just spend time together, because now more than ever it is easy to recognize that time together can be taken from us at any moment.
Give your patience in those stressful moments when it seems like everything isn’t going your way. Take a breath and deal with the annoyances, delays, rejections and setbacks without losing your cool. Patience isn’t always waiting or being passive. Patience is something we all can struggle with at times, but if you consciously work on it, its easy to understand that it is critical to moving towards your dreams and goals.
People give when they are grateful for what they have. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas we really emphasize being thankful when in reality we all have a lot to be thankful for year-round. Around these holidays, we come together with humor and love, but gratitude reigns supreme. Showing your gratitude for family members, strangers, teachers, everyday heroes, etc. can change someone’s life. Gratitude can be internal with a positive thought, or external like thanking a spouse. At times we can get caught up in the fast pace society we live in and can take things for granted. Take a moment this holiday season, and show your gratitude for the people in your lives.
Ahhh bedtime! Finally a time to recharge the batteries after a long day. Throw on your pajamas, turn the fan on, maybe a crack a window, and fall into that deep REM sleep to prepare for tomorrow. Getting enough sleep is very important to our mental and physical health. Even when we are sleeping, our brains are working while we rest. Establishing a routine for each night can let your biological clock know that it is time to sleep. This leads to less sleepless nights or restlessness. Here are some reasons why establishing a bedtime routine for yourself and child is important!
Throughout the day some children may have a harder time concentrating than others. Children who do not get enough sleep may have a more difficult time focusing or managing their moods. Making sure your child is well rested not only helps them to concentrate and to learn new things, but it also supports the brain to take in information and retain it.
Children who do not sleep as much as they should, may see a negative effect on their growth hormones. Growth hormones are primarily produced during sleep, a child that is lacking rest may develop a growth hormone deficiency. Lack of sleep can also affect a child’s weight. According to the Sleep Foundation, children who suffer from sleep deprivation may be affecting their leptin hormone which tells a child that they have eaten enough. If this hormone has been impacted, a child will continue eating even though they have had enough which can lead to obesity.
To ensure that your child gets the amount of sleep needed, it is important to start a sleep schedule at a young age and to be as consistent as possible with it. A bedtime routine will not only keep your child on a consistent schedule, but it will also help to calm your child down from the day and help them to fall asleep faster. A bedtime routine can be as simple as taking a bath, brushing your teeth, singing a quiet song together or reading a book.
Many times, our lives become so busy that we forget or don’t make the time to reflect on what is going on, the good and the bad. With the stay at home order, we now have had the time made for us. There is only so much organizing, cleaning, and home renovation projects you can do until you are left with your own personal thoughts. Maybe with the extra time, you picked up a new hobby, or you learned something about a family member or spouse that you did not know before, or you discovered a new interest that you did not know you had. I am going to list 3 things that I have learned since the stay home order was placed.
As many of you know, we have been posting weekly about our #LivingTheValues Campaign. This campaign aims to explain our company values: Commitment, Continuous Improvement, Character, and Optimism, as well as demonstrate where we see those values in our employees every day. Anyone and any company can say, “The values that mean the most to us our _____, ______, and ______.” However, the actions of the individual or of the company could be different and the values fall by the waist-side. There is a common saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” That is why we feel it is important to share specific instances, big and small, where our staff, children, and community members share our values.
Core values are the things that you believe are most important in the way you live and work. Core values should determine your priorities and the priorities of your company. Core values are what support the vision of your company and help shape its culture. They are the essence of the company’s identity – their principles, beliefs and philosophies. Many companies focus mostly on the technical competencies but often forget the underlying competencies that make their companies run smoothly.
Having clear core values makes decision-making a lot more simple. Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run. And if you empower your employees to make decisions, there is no better way than to have them make those decisions then basing those decisions on the core values of your company.
Lastly, always reinforce your core values. Remind yourself of them, and their importance. This will strengthen your relationships, as well as help as a reminder to make decisions in a fair and ethical manner.
So, what values mean most to you? Do you live by those values? Do your actions correspond with what you believe? How important are they to you?