May and June bring opportunities for moms and dads to get pampered and paid extra attention to. Children love to make homemade cards and gifts, present breakfast in bed, help with chores they don't usually get to help with, etc.
It's ok if the dishes need a second wash after the children have done them, the windows are a little streaky after they have been wiped, or mom's toes have a little extra polish on them. What matters is the memory that has been made, time spent together, and the feeling of pride and accomplishment a child has.
Homemade Coupons Craft
Children can let mom or dad relax by making a homemade coupon book that can be used right away, or saved for another occasion. All that is needed is a few sheets of paper and pencils or crayons. Children can come up with their own ideas for coupons, or use the ideas below. There are many different ways the coupon book can be put together - stapling one corner of the coupons together, using a hole punch to put a hole in one corner and using ribbon or yarn to tie coupons together, placing loose coupons in a small recycled box that has been decorated, using recipe cards for coupons and then placing in a recipe box, cutting the coupons into a shape, the list goes on.
Try to use as many recycled materials as possible!
Ideas for coupons
breakfast in bed
cup of juice
vacuum a room
complete control of the remote for the day
walk the dog
day without complaining
free car wash
do the dishes
read a book to you
rake the lawn
uninterrupted bubble bath
TOGETHER WEE CAN
During the week of March 21-25, Providers and children took part in the "Crazy Cuisine Challenge". We received many unusual and healthy lunch creations from Providers and children that looked wonderful! The other part of this event was decorating a large cardboard box with pictures of healthy foods that was used to collect donations for a local food bank. Both of these activities provided great opportunities to teach children about making healthy food choices and helping others.
On April 21st, children and Providers collected items from a "nature walk". These items, along with any other recycled materials were put together to create a beautiful piece of art. Parents and friends then had an opportunity to view their child's entry in the "Twice is Nice" Nature Show at the end of the day.
May 23 - 27
Together Wee Can - Safe Kids Week, "Walk and Talk Parade"
During the week of May 23 - 27, Wee Watch Providers and children will be taking part in "Safe Kids Week - Walk and Talk Parade". Children will make stop and go signs from recycled materials, and then carry them on a parade while talking about the pedestrian safety rules they will be discussing during that week.
June 8, 15, 22, 29
Together Wee Can - Canadian Days of Celebration
Wee Watch has designated 4 days throughout June as Canadian Days of Celebration. Each of these days will have a Canadian theme that is focused on - The Maple Leaf, Canadian Sports, Canadian Food, and on the last day, Happy Birthday Canada! We are excited to see what activities Providers and children come up with to celebrate these "Canadian" traditions and symbols using their imaginations and recycled materials.
Our exclusive "Wee Learn Program" is designed to meet the specific learning needs of each of our children enrolled. The Wee Learn Program provides the flexibility for each child to participate at his own pace and is designed to allow each child from the youngest Wee Beginner to the oldest Wee Mentor to learn as they play. As there is a mix of individual and group activities in the homes, the children are also given lots of opportunities to develop their social skills as well.
Your Provider is given resources that include age appropriate activities addressing areas of language, cognitive, math/science, fine motor and gross motor development. These resources include our FUNdamental theme related activities, an Activity Handbook full of easy homemade activities for each age group, website activity pages to further build on fine motor, math and language skills they have already been working on in their Play and Learn booklets.
Each month, take a look at the progress your child is making in his Play and Learn booklet. These booklets are a great keepsake and give you an opportunity to see the skills such as cognitive, math, fine motor skills your child is working on each and every day.
Spending time together gives you an opportunity to see how your child is using skills that he has learned at home and at day care. Each day your child is progressing through stages of development and continually working on new skills and mastering others.
We are pleased to provide your child with his/her very own portfolio "My Wee Watch Work". Look for opportunities to praise your child for new accomplishments and milestones achieved, however small they may be. Your child will be proud to show you the activities, crafts, Play and Learns and worksheets in his/her portfolio.
Your Provider and agency staff continue to assist your child in reaching goals by participating in the Wee Learn Program. Please click on the stages below to find new ideas to do at home to assist your child in reaching his milestones.
When you hear the word 'language', most of us think of the spoken word and talking with one another. This is referred to as "expressive language". "Receptive language" refers to listening and understanding what is being communicated. In order for a child's language to develop, both types of language need to be encouraged.
Wee Beginners: 0 - 18 months
Wee Explorers: 18 months - 3 years
Wee Builders: 3 - 4 years
Wee Learners: 4 - 5 years
Wee Experts: 5 - 6 years
Wee Mentors: 6+ years
In the first 18 months, a child's language is growing and expanding rapidly. A newborn's expressive language consists of making sounds that let others know that they are experiencing pleasure or pain. By 3 months, she repeats the same sound a lot and "coos" when content. They will also use different cries for different situations. By 6 months "vocal play" begins when you are playing with her, and they can tell you with different sounds and gestures what they want or need. Once a child reaches 12-18 months, the babbling changes to include consonants as well as long and short vowels, and you may even hear a child's first words.
Newborns' receptive language is developing as she becomes more aware of the sounds around them. She listens to the speech of those close to them. She may cry at unexpected sounds, or become still in response to new sounds. By 3 months babies will turn to look in the direction of a sound, and smile when they hear their mother's voice. Some time before 6 months, babies become responsive to the changes in the tone of a voice. She is fascinated by toys that make sounds, music and/or rhythm, and are interested in new sounds (birds, clip-clop of horse's hooves, whirr of machines, etc). By 12-18 months of age, babies will turn and look at the person who calls their name, recognizes names of familiar objects (daddy, car, keys, phone, eyes), and begin to respond to requests (give it to me, more juice?).
Who's in the mirror?
All you need is an unbreakable mirror for this activity.
Sit down with the baby in your lap and hold the mirror in front of both of you (or sit in front of a full-length mirror). Point to your eyes, ears, nose and mouth, telling the baby the name of each part. Then take his hand and help him touch the different parts of his own face, clearly naming each one as you go. Soon, he'll be able to identify them when you say the names, and eventually speak them himself. For an extra giggle, make animal noises in front of the mirror and see if he'll do the same.
Between the ages of 18 months to 3 years of age, a child is rapidly accumulating more words as each month passes, and will begin to ask 2 - 3 word questions like "What's that?" or "Where ball go?", and put together 2-3 word sentences such as "Birdie go." and "More push please."
Their understanding or receptive language allows them to point to pictures in a book when you name them, or point to body parts when asked. They will move from understanding and following simple commands such as "Open the door" to more complex two stage commands like "Get your socks and put them in the basket."
What to do to improve a child's language skills
1. Be honest when you do not understand what a child says. Don't pretend that you understand by saying "OK" or "Yes, that's right." Encourage, but don't force, a child to try to tell you again. When you do understand what a child says, letting him know will encourage good language use.
2. Model good speech. When a child makes errors, repeat what she attempted to say correctly. Children learn correct speech by listening to others talk and read correctly.
3. Read out loud. Children acquire vocabulary and speech sound production gradually. Capitalizing on a child's desire to repeatedly read the same book increases familiarity with language. The more she hears the words and sentences the more likely she is to retain and use the language.
Where's the horse?
You will need a small animal figure and a cardboard box. Simply place the animal in, on, under, beside, etc. the box. Each time ask "Where's the (animal)?", then answer the question "There it is! The (animal) is beside the box". After repeating several times, encourage the child to ask the question and the answer.
Sentences are becoming longer as a 3-4 year old can combine four or more words. They talk about things that have happened away from home, and are interested in talking about friends, outings and interesting experiences. His expressive language (speech) is becoming fluent and clear, and easily understandable to others.
Their receptive language continues to develop, and they can now understand and answer simple "who", "what" and "where" questions, and respond when you call from another room.
Taking photos on outings and then placing them in a child's own photo album will stimulate his expressive language by encouraging him to recall and talk about his experiences. You can expand on his language by asking question like "Who is this with you?", "What is in your hand in this picture?", and "Where did you go?". You can be sure that this will be one of their favourite books to look at and talk about.
A four year old speaks clearly and fluently, and can construct long and detailed sentences ("We went to the zoo, but we had to come home early because it started to rain"). They can tell a long and involved story sticking to the topic, with most sounds being pronounced correctly (it is common for four or five year olds to have difficulty pronouncing the "r", "v" and "th" sounds). They may tell fantastic "tall stories" and engage strangers in conversation when out and about. Children in the age range enjoy stories and can answer simple questions about them. They understand nearly everything that is said to them at home, school, or day care.
The magic of puppets helps children increase their attention span. Children who would normally not last long in a group activity will be fascinated enough to sit down and stay awhile, and sometimes take directions better from a puppet than from an adult. Make a puppet out of an old sock or a brown paper bag and tell silly stories to each other, or use one to announce cleanup or any other change in activity.
Children at this age are able to describe objects and events, and give the meaning of familiar words. A five-year-old typically speaks in 5-8 word sentences, uses 1500-2000 words, and tells long stories accurately. They can follow three -step directions such as "Get your crayons, make a picture, and give it to mom", and can understand between 2500 -2800 words.
Finger plays allow children to combine songs, chants and body motions as they enjoy linking language and its meaning together with its use. Finger-play allows children to use repetitive words, which will help children with their receptive language through the re-telling of finger plays, and also expressive language by having the opportunity to practice sounds they may be having difficulty with.
Up and down, round and round (draw circles in the air), put your fingers on the ground. Over
(hold hands above lap) under, (below legs) in between (you've hidden your hands in between your legs)
Now my fingers can't be seen!
Hands in front, hands behind , now my hands I cannot find.
Here's my left hand , here's my right,
Hands and fingers back in sight (wriggle fingers).
At 6 years of age, expressive language is highly developed, and they are able to communicate effectively in demanding settings, such as on the telephone. They are able to master syllable patterns (af/ter/noon) which helps distinguish slight differences between similar words.
From 6-10 years, children can understand meanings of words based on their definitions. They also are able to appreciate the multiple meanings of words and use words precisely through metaphors and puns. By this age a child understands 13,000 words, understands opposites, and classifies according to form, colour and use.
You will need 16 craft sticks and 2 cups. On eight of them write opposite actions like up, down, in, out, forward, back, fast, and slow, and put these in a cup. On the other eight sticks, write actions that can be performed by the children, for example crawl, walk, skip, run, roll etc., and put these in a second cup. Each child picks a stick from each cup and performs the actions. For example he might pick out "crawl" and "backwards", so everyone would crawl backwards.
PLAY IT SAFE - Sun Safety
It is never too early to protect yourself and children from the sun's rays. It is equally important to protect against ultraviolet rays all year round - not just during the summer. Babies and young children have sensitive skin that can be damaged easily. Follow these sun safety tips to help keep yourself and children protected from burns and skin damage.
- The sun's rays are strongest between 11 am and 4 pm. Whenever possible, limit exposure to the sun during these hours.
- Keep infants under one year out of direct sunlight - they should always be in the shade, under a tree, umbrella or canopy. Do not apply sunscreen to an infant less than 6 months old.
- Children should be dressed in comfortable long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and broad-brimmed hat.
- When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong and you should find shade or move indoors.
- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher when outdoors with a UV index of 3 or more. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun.
- Cover all exposed areas with sunscreen, including ears, nose, the tops of feet and backs of knees.
- Remember, sunscreens are not intended to increase sun exposure time. They are meant to increase protection during unavoidable exposure.
- Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours (or more often if swimming or sweating).
- In strong sunlight, have children wear sunglasses that provide 100% UVA ad UVB protection.
- Parents need to supply sunscreen to Providers for their children.
- Be sure that the Consent for Cream form is filled out and signed.
DATES WEE WATCH
14 - Provider P.D. Day
23 - Victoria Day - Statutory Holiday
23 - 27 - Together Wee Can - Safe Kids Week, "Walk and Talk" Parade
19 - Father's Day
8, 15, 22, 29 - Together Wee Can - "Canadian Days of Celebration"