Monthly Archives: Mar 2015

Child Development

Everybody Wants To Be A Dinosaur

Imaginary Play and Preschoolers

Have you ever looked at your toddler and wondered what it must be like to see the world through their eyes? I’m not talking about their eye-level of course, that’s old news with the invention of extra durable cameras, but the actual going-on inside their minds. I myself recall a moment in elementary school wherein I had fully convinced myself that I was flying on an imaginary carpet, going back even further I had a stuffed asparagus that engaged in all of my adventures. His name was Tony, and my mother tells me that when I was little, I told her that he had a French accent. You just can’t make this stuff up.preschool

Then in high school I got my first, adult-like look into the child’s eye, working as an assistant pre-school teacher in my Regional Occupation Program. One child in particular, really struck my attention as I would find her roaming the playground, on hands and knees, growling at invisible—to me at least—objects. Her name was Iris[1], she was an adorable blonde-haired, blue-eyed preschooler, who also happened to be a dinosaur. Each day I watched young Iris spend her outside time, crawling on her hands and knees, growling to her fellow dinosaurs (all of which were entirely invisible to the grown person’s eye) as a form of communication. In the moment that I asked her what she was playing, she turned to me, eyes confused, and responded simply “I’m a dinosaur.”

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Activities Spring

Spring Has Sprung

Getting Your Preschooler To Spend Time Outdoors

Well folks, it’s official. Despite what the groundhog might’ve said six weeks ago, spring has definitely sprung—and for those of us in southern California it’s sprung in a big way. Last weekend we were hit with a heat wave, which even as I type, is still stifling the outside air. Our last weekend of winter was spent in ninety-degree, dry, allergy-inducing heat. Now for those of you not in southern California, you may be rolling your eyes, and wondering why this is such a big deal. To you I say, I understand. Well, kind of, in all honesty while I was preschoolwalking around the mall the other day, looking at all of the bathing suits and shorts, I couldn’t help but reminisce on that one real week of winter we had. But that was it, one.

With the sun shining bright, and the winter gloom quickly disappearing, the urge to spend time outside is greater than ever. No longer do we need to bundle up and brace the chill (or in my case sixty degree weather—brrr), but shorts and flip-flops are calling our names. But what about for our kids? In a world where the web and iPhones rule our lives, the inclination to get outside and get some sun has dwindled greatly.

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Child Development

Jake: the Big White Dog

Toddlers and the Importance of Pets

Yesterday I had the great misfortune of losing my childhood pet, Jake. A great white lab, well over one hundred pounds, and more pony than dog, he was only one of many animals that graced the Farr11001815_10153539566968362_3747646372411955232_nell home as I was growing up. In fact, my mother, who is currently in the process of moving, will henceforth be living in what is likely to become an actual farm equipped with dogs, cats, pig, chickens, and a mini-horse. It’s for the grandkids she quips, picturing her new one-acre lot being filled with the sticky hands and flushed cheeks that come with children. But all farm talk aside; I can’t help but think that she actually has a point, because despite all of an animal’s best qualities (they’re entertaining, warm, comforting, and love unconditionally), they are actually extremely beneficial to preschool aged children’s development.

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Child Development

Play On

The Importance of Preschoolers and Music

William Shakespeare wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.” While I can’t say for certain that I’ve ever cut up an actual slice of Humble Pie, I can say that music in any form has power. As a parent of a preschooler, Ipreschool would bet that you’ve had to put the Rolling Stones away and form close, though mostly awkward connections with the following people: the Wiggles, Raffi, Lauri Berkner, Ralph Covert, and They Might Be Giants (though to be fair I listened to my fair share of ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’ prior to birthing my own tiny human). If you haven’t formed close kinships with these five musicians then you’re either a) lying, or b) missing out. If you don’t believe me, then try sitting down your fussy preschooler while the Wiggles belt out their hit tune, “Hot Potato, Hot Potato” and I guarantee you’ll be a fellow Wiggler for life.

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Child Development

Toddler Meets World

Daycare VS Preschool

When I was young, my mother sold her salon to run an at-home daycare. Extremely popular, I was constantly surrounded by kids of all ages at most hours of the day. Our house was filled with the constant giggling, screams, and crying that accompany young children, including the often-time shrill cries of the fiery red-headed six-month old who happened to have colic (who funnily enough became my cousin by marriage at the age of four). Aside from the noises were the constant numbers of toys scattered around the house, and if it wasn’t a preschoolLego that would get caught under my toes (one of the worst pains imaginable), then it was one of my brother’s “little guys” (which hurt just as badly if not worse than the Legos). For a young girl with an even younger brother, it was an extremely fun time in our lives, filled with some lifelong friends and an abundance of playtime.

But that was just what it was: a home filled with plenty of play and laughter while the parents are away. I think my mother would be the first to agree, that while she actively created projects that were age appropriate, she was in no way an expert in child development. Being six when the daycare opened, I was already in the first grade, but my brother, who is four years my junior—was looking preschool in the eye at the time when my mother opened her business. Rather than keep him at home for his preschool years, my mother made the active decision to send him to preschool for several hours a day, before bringing him home to spend his afternoon hours at the daycare. The end result is that the daycare flat lined with the lack of older children during the day, before booming in the afternoon with the arrival of the preschool and elementary aged school kids.

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