Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in Blog, Health, Science, Stress |

Pandemic Stress In Children

Pandemic Stress In Children

Protecting Children and Ourselves

We do all we can to protect our children from the Coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer and hand washing are good practices to help keep children and ourselves safe. These actions will help keep us safe from the immediate threat of getting COVID-19. Here’s what the CDC is saying about how COVID-19 might effect your child or any family member. 

Are we doing all we can to protect children from the stress of the pandemic? Pandemic stress in children is difficult to completely prevent. Children aren’t as prone as their grandparents to get COVID-19 but are just as stressed by it. Children are aware that they have stopped going to school or child care. Children know that their parents are stressed. Changes in schedules, constant media alerts, and parental stress leads to stressed out children. As our anxiety builds so too does theirs. And if, God forbid, there is a loss in the family, how do parents help children through that?  What can parents do to relieve some of that stress? Let’s see what the experts say.

Experts Agree Pandemics Are Stressful On Some Children

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children are almost a quarter of the American population. That’s more than 70 million children. This vulnerable segment of our society demands our protection in times of pandemic. Experts have learned from previous pandemics that children deal with stress differently than adults. Our response has to be modified to meet children’s special needs. “Most kids will ride this out and probably write some interesting college application essays about it.” Says Seth Pollack  psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Child Emotion Lab. Affluent kids will come out on the other side of COVID-19 mostly unscathed. Pollack and others are more concerned for children with less affluent families. Families who are already under stress from poverty and food insecurity are struggling more now.

Special Needs Of Children In Pandemic

From considering the lessons learned from previous pandemics we know that suspending routine activities, social distancing, closing schools and child care centers, will become the expected norm. These precautions among others, save lives in a pandemic. Those same actions can have a detrimental effects on children. Closing schools leaves children whose family don’t have internet access without connections with teachers and classmates.

Closing schools might also leave many children nutritionally vulnerable. Many children across the country depend on school breakfast and lunch programs for their only meals throughout their day. Some children even receive food to take home over the weekend.

Closing child care centers takes many parents out of the workforce for having no one to care for their children. Social distancing is very difficult to implement when working with children, it is impossible when working with infants and toddlers. Children need human contact to survive.

Older children and teenagers can suffer detrimental effects from isolation and may need mental health support in a pandemic. Suspending routine activities is detrimental to children as routine is what allows children thrive. Considering the lessons learned in pandemics of the past is important when planning for pandemics of the future.

Parents And Communities Can Ease Pandemic Stress In Children

There are many activities that parents and even the community can do to ease stress for children and their families. Everything parents do will impact their children in some way. Communities will need to support parents and children in a pandemic.

First, children need their education. Leadership needs to plan an infrastructure that provides children their education even when schools are closed. There are many tools that districts can utilize to continue children’s education from home. Many wireless companies are offering free or discounted WiFi to families with school age children.

Next, social distancing doesn’t support children’s mental health. Isolation is especially difficult on children. Parents will n to build their relationships with their children during a pandemic. Parents can help their children stay in touch with extended family members using face time or other video calling programs. Try to stick closely to the old “before Coronavirus” routine with their children. If that doesn’t work create and stick to a new routine.

Children rely on the simple rhythm to know what to expect next. Children who don’t know what to expect next will likely behave in ways that won’t be helpful. With many schools closed until the fall parents are going to need home schooling support. The CATO Institute offers this advice.

Keeping Children Active And Engaged

TeachPreschool.org has a great site with lots of inspiration to bring fun learning to your house during isolation. The author/preschool teacher, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. is so warm and encouraging. She is a teacher of preschool teachers.

Experts say exercise will be necessary to keep kids (and adults) active. There are ways to keep active inside the house. Walk At Home is just one way to stay active. Kids can work out with parents.ChildCareInformation.com is dedicated to the safe education of children even in times of global pandemic.

Read More

Posted by on Mar 9, 2020 in Art, Blog, Fund Raising |

Fund Raiser Art Galla Brings In Over $4000

Fund Raiser Art Galla Brings In Over $4000

Fund Raiser Art Gala

This year our fund raiser did very well, bringing in just over $4000! Each of our 15 classes (only 13 are shown here) made a piece to be silently auctioned off at the Art Gala. Art by adult artists was also donated and auctioned. There was a cash bar, light hors d’oeuvres, and musicians to set the mood, all items were donated.




Fund Raiser Art Gala   Fund Raiser Art Gala

Fund Raiser Art Galla   This rainbow over a tree was done by two year olds whose teachers and parents saved applesauce and yogurt lids for weeks! 🌈
Fund Raiser Art Galla   Lemonade anyone? Toddler teachers made this oh so cute lemonade set. The two year olds used their finger prints and the teachers turned them into bumblebees. 

Fund Raiser Art Gala   This beautiful masterpiece was made by blowing bubbles! Our one year olds blew bubbles for a good cause to make this.
Fund Raiser Art Gala  Each child in one of our three year old classes is represented with a triangle that they painted themselves. 



Fund Raiser Art Galla   These are bubble wrap on canvas works of art. The children in one of our infant rooms painted on bubble wrap and then teachers transferred it onto the canvas.

Fund Raiser Art Galla   Can you tell this class is called Polar Bears? There are about a million tiny white fingerprints making each of these bears on chairs look furry. Made by three year olds.

Fund Raiser Art Gala    Our one year old class called Ducklings made this cute little spotted duck with their finger prints.

Fund Raiser Art Gala   Reach for the stars! These high fives are brought to you by our big kids! Each child in one of our four year old classes decorated a cut out of their own hand print for this bright work of art. 

Fund Raiser Art Galla   Another three year old class took inspiration from Eric Carle for this little book shelf. They included some plush toys to represent some of Carle’s most loved story books. 

Fund Raiser Art Galla   A two year old classroom made this 3D wave with sea glass and sea shells. Take me to the beach! 

Fund Raiser Art Gala   Hands full of love. Each child in another four & five year old class put their hands down for this lovely piece of work. The heart frame came from a thrift store.



Fund Raiser Art Galla   Our second infant room teachers were thinking spring when the started working on this in mid February. Tiny feet prints make these butterflies special. 🦋

Fund Raiser Art Gala   Lastly these four & five year olds were inspired by their home town to make this cool masterpiece.



 

Read More

Posted by on Feb 10, 2020 in Blog, February Themes, Valentine’s Day |

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine

Parents appreciate a little advanced notice when we ask them to contribute something for parties or special projects. Put out a sign up sheet out so parents can choose to contribute what they like.

It’s best to have the Valentines signed with just the child’s own name not the recipients. The children can deliver the valentines to all of their friends much easier that way. 

Have everyone wear red or pink.
As an example, take a look at one preschool classroom’s letter to parents explaining their Valentine’s Day party plans.
Blog Valentine‘s Day Parent Letter

Children don’t have to be able to read the words, to enjoy valentines candy hearts. Try this simple matching game in a happy heart center.

Be My Valentine

 

Read More

Posted by on Feb 7, 2020 in Blog, February Themes, Groundhog Day, Math & Science, Science, Shadows |

Making Shadows on Groundhog Day

Making Shadows on Groundhog Day

We had a great time making shadows on groundhogs day. Groundhog Day is a great time to explore shadows.

We have a great little groundhog pattern available at Printables! Print it out, add color, tape it to a craft stick. Send the kids under a table that has paper draped over one side, with a big bright flashlight. Does the groundhog see his shadow?





Kaplan Early Learning Company has this great blog post on making shadows on groundhogs day or any day.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

These little shapes are just stencils taped to craft sticks. Cut shapes from black construction paper so they look more like shadows. A big 9 volt flashlight propped up in a clear plastic shoe box will shine light right where needed. Simply drape a large sheet of paper over a little table. The kids love climbing under tables anyway, this just gives them a purpose.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day

A couple little chairs invite the audience to watch the shadow show. Make sure each child gets a turn to do both.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day




The kids learn quickly how to make the shadows interact. More shapes can be made with only the kids hands and fingers.

Making Shadows on Groundhogs Day  

Disney Shadow Video

My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Making Shadows on Groundhog Day  Shadows
Shine a big 9 volt flashlight on the children from behind them. Be sure you have a large blank wall to project onto. Have fun!

Read More

Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Blog, Health, Parents |

Local doctors taking part in ear infection study

Local doctors taking part in ear infection study

Rochester, NY – Local researchers at Rochester Regional Health Network are among  local doctors taking part in ear infection study. The bacteria that cause childhood ear infections have mutated to circumvent standard antibiotics.

Rochester Regional Health

Read More

Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 in Art, Blog, Zoo |

Welcome to the Zoo!

Welcome to the Zoo!

Going to the zoo is a fun summertime activity. Many schools and child care centers go on field trips to local zoos. Even if you can’t take them to the zoo you can bring the animals to life for the kiddos. Welcome to the Zoo is a kind of play on words that most parents get when they see the sign on the classroom door. 😉

These are some of our favorite books that bring the zoo to life for little ones. 

Story Extenders

Welcome to the Zoo   My favorite preschool site (besides this one) is teachpreschool.org. She has a really nice early math flannel board lesson using the book Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.

Welcome to the Zoo After reading Goodnight Gorilla the zoo activity at simplylearning.com will be great fun for very young kiddos.

Welcome to the Zoo  The blog 3dinosaurs.com has some great large motor activities, as well as some letter recognition ideas around the book 1, 2, 3, Zoo by Eric Carl.





Large Motor Zoo Fun

Kids In Motion

Year after year our preschoolers have loved Greg & Steve’s Kids In Motion CD. For this theme we play Animal Action I & II. They love doing their impression of each animal. You can purchase it here.

Kids Moving

Welcome to the Zoo Another of my favorite preschool sites is pinkoatmeal.com. She does sell her lessons, usually for just $3.00. This lesson is all large motor activities.

Animal Art

Making Tracks
Zoo Animal Tracks   Zoo Animals    This project is so simple. We’ve been doing this project for years with zoo, farm, pets, and wild animals. When I saw it on teachpreschool.org one of my favorite preschool sites, I knew I should share it too. Just round up a few of the appropriate animals, some corresponding paint, paper plates or some shallow trays for the paint, and paper. Have the children dip the hooves or paws into the paint and take their animal for a walk on the paper.





Handprint Zoo Animals

Hand print zoo #2    Handprint animals with teacher painted details.We began this labor intensive project Monday morning while the children did the Making Tracks project. The latter being a more open ended. This hand print project is so cute though!      

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My! 

Welcome to the Zoo  Well lions anyway. Teachers just cut the center out of paper plates for the class. Teachers or children can cut brown, orange, and yellow strips. The children glue strips in a pattern, onto their plate. Orange, yellow, brown, repeat. Add a craft stick and they have their lion masks.

Zoo Snacks

Animals in the grass    Add a drop of food color to cream cheese, spread on crackers and stand your animal crackers in the cream cheese for a fun zoo snack!




Read More