• From Scribbling to Writing: How Language Develops

    Letter recognition starts with an enriched preschool curriculum available in Islip Terrace. However, children start practicing writing skills long before they can recognize words or even letters. As soon as a toddler can grasp a crayon or marker, he or she starts preparing for future writing fluency. One essential way to get your child’s education off to the right start is to read with him or her every day.

    Scribbles

    Not long after a child’s first birthday, he or she starts to scribble. Your child will grasp the crayon or marker in a fist, and will likely be delighted that he or she can make marks on paper. At this stage, scribbling is more about the movement of the crayon than about making any specific marks on the paper. Sometime between the second and third birthdays, toddlers develop better fine motor skills, and they start drawing shapes like circles. By the time your child enters preschool, or about age three, he or she will start holding drawing tools with the thumb and middle finger.

    Patterns

    At around the stage in which your toddler begins to draw shapes, you should also start to notice patterns, perhaps composed of straight lines, dots, and curvy lines. This is an exciting developmental stage because pattern recognition is fundamental for reading and writing. New York state-certified instructors also recognize the use of certain patterns as being indicative of a child’s understanding of the differences between writing and drawing. For instance, your child may draw some circular shapes, and add some smaller scribbles to the paper, telling you that these scribbles are words.

    Pictures

    Between preschool and kindergarten, your child will start drawing more detailed pictures that can somewhat resemble what the objects are supposed to be. Kids often like to draw the same types of pictures over and over again, such as stick figures for their families and pets. This is an indicator of symbolic thinking—your child is starting to learn that marks on a piece of paper can represent something else.

    Letters

    Letter writing is a skill that develops roughly parallel to detailed picture drawing, between the ages of three and five. It’s customary for children to start by learning how to write their own names by tracing letters that have already been printed. Encourage your child’s newfound enthusiasm for writing, such as by helping him or her write letters to relatives.

  • What Anti-Vaccination Parents Should Know

    Health and education go hand in hand. For parents looking for a quality preschool in Islip Terrace, one of the essential factors to consider is whether the school requires all students to be vaccinated , barring a doctor-verified medical exception. Learning centers that do require vaccination are following widely accepted, evidence-based medical recommendations. But if there is plenty of evidence to prove the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, why do so many parents still refuse to vaccinate their kids?

    Watch this informative video to learn about the psychology behind the anti-vaccination trend. This science expert explains the many types of cognitive bias. When trying to make sense of the world, the human brain naturally processes and interprets information with pre-existing biases. For example, if a mother hears something that already meshes with what she believes, then she’s likely to give that information greater weight. If she hears something that contradicts what she already believes, she’s more likely to dismiss it. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that any attempt to convince a person that his or her previously held belief is wrong will cause that person to more strongly believe in this false information.

  • When Do Kids Learn to Tell Time?

    Very young children are masters of mindfulness, as they live in the present. When they want a cookie, the concept of waiting an hour or even 10 minutes for it can seem unacceptable. This is a normal part of early childhood development. As your little one grows older and begins working through a pre-k curriculum on Long Island, he or she will start to get a better sense of the passage of time. Schools typically have formal lessons on telling time at the kindergarten level, but students are usually introduced to the concept of time as they enter preschool.

    You can help your young learner develop a solid academic foundation by doing fun time-telling activities at home. First, help your child master skip counting by fives. Have your child write down these numbers, and then point out that they all end in fives or zeroes. Skip counting helps kids learn how to read analog clocks. When learning about analog clocks, most kids have trouble understanding why one number has two different meanings. Some New York state-certified instructors tell their students that each number is a double agent with a secret identity. When the big hand points to that number, its secret identity is used.

  • Teaching Toddlers to Share

    Under the age of two, children aren’t interested in playing cooperatively with other kids. Instead, they engage in parallel play, which means they play alongside one another. At this young age, children have a tough time with the concept of sharing. As kids get old enough to enter a toddlers’ learning center on Islip Terrace, they start to develop empathy, and this equips them to understand sharing. Early childhood education experts recommend creating a fun learning environment for children that encourages, rather than forces, them to share. This helps them view sharing as a positive action.

    Look at the concept of sharing from your toddler’s perspective.

    It’s easy for adults to understand why sharing is important. However, young toddlers don’t yet grasp this concept. Look at the situation from your child’s point of view. To you, sharing a doll is a simple action, but to your child, the doll might be his or her most prized possession. The idea of lending the doll to another child may cause anxiety and feelings of insecurity. Over time, sharing will become easier for your child. Always try to moderate your own emotional response to your child’s actions so that sharing is perceived as being positive.

    Practice taking turns.

    Taking turns is closely associated with sharing. You can begin teaching your little one to take turns as soon as he or she is capable of grasping a solid object. Even though he or she won’t be old enough to understand sharing, you can practice taking turns by passing an object between the two of you. Each time the object exchanges hands, say either “my turn” or “your turn.”

    Use positive reinforcement.

    Praise is an excellent way to reinforce desired behaviors like voluntary sharing. Just make sure your praise is descriptive. Instead of saying something like, “Good job!” you could say, “Emily is so happy she gets a turn playing with the fire truck! She really likes to share with you.”

    Accept your child’s limits on sharing.

    Remind yourself that kids shouldn’t be expected to share everything. Asking your child to share his or her security blanket would be like an adult asking a museum director if it’s alright to take a Picasso home for a few hours. Sharing is an essential socio-emotional skill that toddlers need to learn, but every person, no matter how young, has the right to set personal boundaries.

  • Ways to Keep Your Family Active in Winter

    Outdoor recreation is part of your children’s school day on Long Island, but it’s still important to encourage outdoor play after school and on the weekends. Keep your family active all year-round by looking for a fun winter sport that everyone can enjoy. Sign up for ice skating lessons, for instance, or simply bundle everyone up in snowsuits and go sledding. Or, take your cue from your kids’ preschool curriculum, which undoubtedly encourages creativity. When the weather outdoors is too wintry, build a combination fort/obstacle course in the living room.

    Use blankets, pillows, cardboard boxes, and other random items around the house to construct tunnels to climb through and forts to defend from imaginary dragons. Another fun game to play indoors is balloon volleyball. Set up two chairs in the living room, about three to four feet apart from each other. Tie a piece of yarn to each chair to form a “net.” Then, blow up a balloon and play volleyball. If you’ve got plenty of yarn to spare, set up a “laser” maze. Zigzag yarn all over the room to mimic laser beams and create an obstacle course. The goal is to get from one end of the room to the other without touching any of the “lasers.”

  • How to Teach Your Child Proper Handwashing

    Health and wellness are an important part of a well-rounded preschool curriculum near Islip Terrace. Early childhood education experts recommend helping your child master proper handwashing by focusing on just one small step at a time. You’ll learn how when you watch this featured video.

    At first, you’ll have to do nearly every step for your child: Turn on the water, dampen the hands, get soap, lather the soap, and rinse their hands. The last step, turning the water off, is one that your child will learn how to do first. Once he or she has mastered that, your child can work on rinsing the hands and turning the water off. Keep adding steps gradually until your child masters the entire task.

  • Highlighting Important Development Milestones for Your Two-Year-Old

    The terrific twos are an exciting time in your child’s early life, and a fun learning environment for children on Long Island will support your toddler’s healthy development. Although preparatory programs for children group kids together according to age range, every child starts school at slightly different developmental stages. Not all children will progress at the same rates, but in general, you can expect to see the following developmental milestones in your two-year-old.

    Physical Milestones

    Your two-year-old is adapting to the world around him or her, and you’ll have to adapt to your child’s increasing independence. Now that your child is officially a toddler, he or she can get around on his or her own two feet. By the time your child turns three, you can expect the following achievements:

    • Jumping with both feet
    • Carrying toys while walking
    • Kicking and throwing a ball
    • Walking up stairs

    You’ll also start to notice improvements in fine motor skills, like figuring out how to hold a spoon with the fingers instead of a fist.

    Cognitive Milestones

    Toddlers begin to enjoy imaginary play, and this will get more complex as the year progresses. Your little one might start to pretend that a cardboard box is a racing car, for example. By the third birthday, he or she might also:

    • Follow two-step directions
    • Talk about things in the past tense
    • Recite nursery rhymes with your help
    • Do four-piece puzzles
    • Sort toys by common characteristics

    Speech and Language Milestones

    Your child may start to be a chatterbox by the time he or she celebrates the third birthday. Two-year-olds are well-known for their tendency to ask “Why?” and “What’s that?” repetitively. They also begin to use simple pronouns and plurals. Your child may repeat words he or she hears, and your child should understand the words for familiar objects. Two-to four-word sentences are common at this stage, and by the third birthday, most kids have a 200-plus word vocabulary.

    Socio-Emotional Milestones

    Your child’s socio-emotional skills will grow by leaps and bounds when he or she enrolls in a toddler time program. He or she will start to be more interested in playing with peers. However, since your child’s language is still catching up and he or she will still have trouble expressing emotions, your child may become frustrated at times, and throw tantrums. Use the opportunity to help your child develop coping skills and expressive language.

  • Ways You Can Help Ready Your Child for Preschool

    Are you excitedly anticipating your child’s start with an enriched preschool curriculum ? If so, and if you’re like many parents, then you’re probably wondering what you can do to help your child prepare for this big change. Read on for some advice on ways to ready your child for preschool near Islip Terrace and Long Island.

    Develop a Consistent Routine

    Once she begins preschool, your child will be introduced to routines that will be followed with consistency throughout the school year. To help ease her transition into preschool, consider adopting a similar schedule in your household. For some direction on doing this, reach out to the school she will be attending to learn what routines are used in their preschool classrooms.

    Give Your Child Chores

    By providing your child with some simple tasks to accomplish at home, you can help prepare her to thrive in a preschool environment. For example, you can ask her to fold laundry, pick up her plate after eating, or put her toys away after playing. Then, remember to reward her with praise when she accomplishes these chores.

    Build Your Child’s Excitement

    To help get your child as excited about beginning preschool as you are for her, give her opportunities to anticipate this transition with enthusiasm. To accomplish this, you could let her pick out a backpack in her favorite color, tell her about all the friends she will make, and help her put together outfits to wear.

    Get Comfortable with Separation

    One of the biggest struggles for both new preschoolers and their parents is separating once school begins. To prepare both of you for the first day of preschool, you can help get your child accustomed to being separate from you. To do this, you might leave your child at another parent’s house for a playdate or schedule an overnight visit with a relative. By leaving your child in the care of others, you can demonstrate that you will return afterward, which can make the first days of preschool easier for you both.

  • Protecting Your Young Child When You Catch the Flu

    To help prevent your kid from missing out on school, hands-on learning, and his early childhood education near Islip Terrace and Long Island , taking steps to help support his health is key. Also, now that flu season has arrived, this can be especially important for parents of pre-k or preschool students, as children under age 5 are at high risk for flu complications.

    In addition to having your child vaccinated, there are a few things that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you do to help protect him from getting sick if you have the flu. Start by learning how the flu spreads and taking steps to prevent spreading your germs to your child, for example, by minimizing contact with him, covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, and frequently washing your hands. You should continue to take these precautions for a full day after your symptoms disappear. Lastly, keep a close eye on your child while and after you are sick, and contact his doctor if he exhibits malaise or develops a fever or respiratory symptoms.

  • Activities for Improving Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

    There is plenty that parents can do at home to support the education, growth, and development of their child outside of school. If you’re looking for ways to promote your pre-k or preschool student’s early childhood education near Islip Terrace and Long Island by helping her improve fine and gross motors skills, then watch this video for a few fun ideas.

    To help your child develop her balancing abilities, place a 2-by-4 on the ground and ask her to walk across it. To make this exercise more challenging, ask your child to pick up or step over objects as she makes her way across the balance beam. Then, to help her strengthen her ability to use 2 hands at once, you can provide your child with a ball of playdough to roll up and squish into different shapes.