The leaves are beginning to fall off the trees and there is a crisp chill in the air, November is here! Distracted by the fast approaching holidays, do not forget one of the most important days of all, November 11th; Remembrance Day. There are many ways you can involve your child in this day with arts and crafts, as well as songs and poems. I can still envision my fridge filled with red poppy art work and poems in crayon, with a cute child looking up at me with "Mom do you know I can tell you what Flanders field is"
A day one may consider too complex for children to understand will be surprised by the fascination of a child when she learns about the great battle Canada won for our country. Her sense of pride for her country shines through her smile when they wear their poppies across their heart.
As I turn the calendar page yet once again I am shocked to see we are already at the end of the year. As hectic as the days are, they speed right by and it is once again time for the holidays! As the holiday season may be, it is a time to enjoy being with the ones who matter the most; your precious children and family. This is a time for building traditions, ones that your children will cherish and eventually pass on to their children as well.
One great way during the holidays to keep your children busy for hours is Mother Natures gift - snow! Mommy where does it come from? We need to build a snow man! We need to go tobogganing! And the list goes on. As fun at this form of matter can be, always remember to keep them bundled up! Hats, scarves, gloves, socks, snow pants, you name it - the more the merrier! Holidays add enough stress as it is, adding a sick child to it will put a damper on your holiday festivities.
I wish all of you a very happy, healthy holiday season.
On September 21 all of our homes across Ontario took part in an exciting learning experience by baking to help raise cancer awareness. Children helped measure, pour, and stir the ingredients to create their batch of goodness. Each child personalized their cookie by decorating it in commemoration of Terry Fox. Thank you to everyone who participated and an extra thank you to the people who donated to the Terry Fox Foundation.
In an effort to promote Active Healthy Kids Canada, during the week of October 10-14 children and Providers talked about the importance of being healthy and how being active helps our bodies. Children played a fun game of "Animal Moves". Each day children imitated the moves of an animal, and together we successfully achieved physical activity by getting the children to move their bodies in an extraordinary way.
November 18 - A Box of My Own
In Canada, National Child Day is held on November 20th of every year to celebrate the rights of children. This month we will be promoting children's right to creative self expression with "A Box of My Own" activity. Children will use a variety of recycled craft materials to decorate a shoe box that will then be used as a special place for their personal items, such as their Wee Watch Work Portfolio, artwork, mittens, or even a toy from home.
December - This is What Wee Did Book
As the year draws to a close, children will make a special keepsake book using collected pictures and samples of work from past Together Wee Can events. Books will be made and decorated from recycled materials to continue with our Go Green theme, and children will decide which items they would like to include such as photos, drawings, names of songs they have sung, or things they have learned throughout this year.
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.
Early Math Concepts
Children begin to learn math concepts through early play. One of the best ways to foster early math skills in young children is to make numbers and math concepts fun and relate them to everyday experiences. Showing children how they use math in their daily lives and engaging all of their senses when introducing them to math concepts will help cultivate a desire to learn more and create a genuine appreciation for mathematics. Read on to discover how to turn everyday experiences into fun learning opportunities for children at every age.
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
At this age, a child begins to:
- Count objects.
- Use all of their senses to identify familiar objects and people.
- Predict and anticipate sequences of events.
- Notice cause-and-effect relationships.
- Classify objects in a simple but thoughtful manner--for example, toys that roll, toys that don't.
- Use words to classify objects according to basic characteristics, such as type (toy animals, blocks).
- Begin to use relationship words and comparative language, such as bigger and under.
The next time you fill up the tub, make bath time math time as you explore "empty" and "full" and compare volumes. Give your infant plastic bowls, containers and cups to play with. Join in, or set the example by using your own container. Fill your container with water and explain what you're doing ("Look! My cup is full! No more water can fit in my cup.") Pour out the water to show empty ("I'm pouring out all the water. Now the cup is empty!") Invite your child to copy what you do. Encourage him to use the words "full" and "empty" to describe what is happening.
Figuring out which items go together helps your infant develop early reasoning skills. Choose several household items that have a match or a corresponding part such as: a cooking pot and lid, a pair of socks or slippers, a fork and a spoon, a comb and a hairbrush.
- Separate the matching items into two groups. To play the game, choose an item from one of the groups and invite your child to find its match in the other group.
- When you see that your child has grasped the concept, switch roles and you find the match to the item your child picks.
- Continue in this way until all the items are matched.
- You can play a similar matching game when you are folding the laundry (invite your child to help you match up all the socks, for example).
At this age, a child begins to:
- Recognize shapes.
- Understand the concept and use of numbers -- for example, realize that when they count their crackers, each is given one number.
- Count two to four objects, but then count the same object twice or skip objects.
- Understand many directional and relationship words, such as "straight" and "behind".
- Can fit large puzzle pieces into place, demonstrating an understanding of the relationships between geometric shapes.
- Notice patterns in the things they see and hear.
- Make cause-and-effect predictions.
The grocery store has many opportunities for children to learn math concepts. Next time you go to one with your child:
- Look for shapes (i.e. ask your child to point out all of the circles or squares that he can see in the store.
- Point to the aisle numbers and recite aloud together.
- Count how many of each item you are placing in the cart.
- Compare prices and discuss larger and smaller numbers.
Compare items that are "heavy" and "light."
At this age, children begin to:
- Count up to 5 objects.
- Recognize and look for geometric shapes in the environment.
- Enjoy sorting and classifying objects, usually only one characteristic at a time -- colour, shape or size.
- Begin to classify things by their uses.
- Notice and compare similarities and differences.
- Recognize opposites.
- Use words to describe size and quantity relationships -- "My bowl is the biggest!"
Have your child put objects in order from largest to smallest. Use blocks, books, pencils, nesting cups, etc. Start with two objects and slowly add more. Also, you can use bottles of various heights, and have your child put them in order from tallest to shortest. Learning to visually compare size is an important foundation for learning adding, subtracting, fractions, reading charts/graphs, and other important math skills for later on. You could use boxes, toys, blocks, or whatever you think would engage your child's interest, and order them in size, quantity, etc.
Have fun with patterns by letting your child arrange dry macaroni, chunky beads, different types of dry cereal, or pieces of paper in different patterns or designs. Supervise your child carefully during this activity to prevent choking, and put away all items when you are done.
At this age, children begin to:
- Recognize numbers.
- Enjoy playing games involving numbers.
- Count objects up to 10 with less skip-counting or double-counting.
- Understand that symbols represent complex patterns.
- Solve multiple-piece puzzles by recognizing and matching geometric shapes.
- Use concepts such as height, size and length to compare objects.
Wee Learners are beginning to recognize numbers and are demonstrating an interest in counting things that they see. Below are games that you can play at home that will help maintain your child's natural curiosity while challenging him to master number concepts.
One-to-one correspondence: Label ten cups from one to ten. At the kitchen table, give your Wee Learner real objects such as beans, cereal, or goldfish crackers. Ask him to count out the number of objects that corresponds with the number on each cup. For example, if he selects the cup with the number 7 on it, he will need to count out seven of his items to put in this cup. This activity will increase his number recognition skills and also strengthen his ability to count one object at a time without skip or double counting.
Dice: Together you and your child can roll dice and count the dots. You can use big dice, little dice, coloured dice---each change makes a new game. After you count the dots, count out the same number of objects to extend the activity. Also using number cards, your child can find the number card that matches with the amount of dots counted. For a fun game, each of you roll a die and see who gets the higher number. This will introduce the concept of "more than" and "less than" to your Wee Learner.
At this age, children begin to:
- Recognize numbers up to 10.
- Start to add small numbers in their heads, but still are more comfortable adding real objects they can actually touch and move.
- Classify objects according to more than one characteristic -- sorting the round and blue blocks and the red square ones.
- Use their longer attention spans to focus on activities that interest them.
- Use positional words to explain spatial relationships -- for example, "on top of the table," "behind the chair".
Make a weather chart with your child. Divide columns into different types of weather (i.e. sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy, rain, snow, windy) He can put a sticker each time it rains or each time it is sunny. At the end of a week, you can estimate together which column has more or less stickers, and count how many to be sure.
Teaching money is terrific for hands-on learning. Get out the real thing, use play money, or even make your own, but the more realistic the better. Explain the value of each coin, and then ask your child to:
- Count the coins,
- Sort the money by its value,
- And make patterns with the money.
Once your child has mastered this you can move onto playing simple addition and subtraction games with the coins. (i.e. 1 cent + 2 cents + = how many cents all together?)
At this age, children begin to:
- Read, print, locate, compare, order, represent, estimate, add, and identify numbers.
- Use and understand more than, less than, the same as, heavier than, lighter than, taller than etc.
- Beginning to learn time with both analog and digital clocks.
- Construct pictures using shapes that can be identified.
- Be able to talk about pattern rules. (1,3,5 is skip a number).
- Use graphs to record number of i.e. daily temperatures.
Even and Odd Numbers Hopscotch: In this outside math game, your child can play a version of hopscotch. Use sidewalk chalk on the pavement and draw a huge grid with a different number in each box. Tell your child that he will hop on the odd or even numbers. He must use one foot for the odd numbers and two feet for the even numbers. The goal is to get around the entire hopscotch square while correctly determining the even and odd numbers.
Estimate everything! Estimate the number of steps from your front door to the edge of your yard, then walk with your child to find out how many there really are, counting steps as you go. Estimate how many bags of milk your family will need for the week. At the end of the week, count up the number of bags you actually used. Estimate the time needed for a trip. If the trip is expected to take 25 minutes, when do you have to leave? Have your child count the number of stars he or she can draw in a minute. Ask if the total is more or less than your child thought it would be.
PLAY IT SAFE
Tips to keep your children healthy this cold and flu season.
Young children will catch an average of 8 to 10 viral infections a year, with most occurring between October and April. But don't throw in the towel (or tissue) just yet. Read on to learn some tips for fighting cold viruses this upcoming season.
Washing hands often is the best line of defence against flu viruses, which can live on our skin for hours. Blame it on the hand-to-hand and hand-to-nose touching that brings the virus in contact with the mucous membranes, from where it infects the rest of the body. Make hand washing fun for your children by singing as you scrub, and use the "10 seconds and flip" rule, so both sides of the hands get washed.
2. Give Coughs the Cold Shoulder
Tell your children to cough to the side of or into their shoulders, as this will cut down on the transmission of germs.
3. Embrace the Great Outdoors
A quick dose of sunshine and fresh air is not only good for the spirits - it's also good for what ails you. The sun's ultraviolet radiation kills off viruses on exposed skin. So no need to hesitate to take a sniffly child out for a short walk in a stroller or wagon.
4. Drink up
A well-hydrated child will help ward off illness. Viruses thrive in mucous membranes and the drier the membranes, the more susceptible they are to winter bugs. Encourage your children to drink lots of water on a regular basis, and a little more especially when they are sick. Drinking fluids keeps the mucus flowing, and that flushes the virus out of the body.
5. Tuck 'em in
Lack of sleep increases our susceptibility to colds. Children need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, especially when they are not feeling well. Warm baths and drinks can help induce sleepiness, and an extra pillow under a child's head (but not baby's) will reduce coughing fits that interrupt sleep.
6. Make a Batch of Chicken Soup
It's not just an old wives' tale: Chicken soup actually does have cold-fighting properties. The hot soup nourishes, hydrates and steams away nasal stuffiness, and contains anti-inflammatory properties that ease congestion.
7. Jack up the Humidity
A humidified house alone will not prevent the spread of colds and flu, but adding moisture to heated indoor air will help children feel better and may help aid their recovery. A cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer is the best way to add moisture to dry air. You can also open windows in the house for a few minutes each day to let in natural humidity.
8. Administer Lots of TLC
A sick child needs lots of love and reassurance. Cuddling is almost as important as anything else we can do. Keep it confined to your child's own bed, to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
At what age should children be vaccinated against influenza?
The flu shot is considered safe for infants six months and older. The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) recommends that all healthy children and adults get vaccinated every year.
DATES WEE WATCH
6 - Daylight Saving Time Ends
7 - Eid-Al-Adha
11 - Remembrance Day
18 - Together Wee Can "National Child Day: A Box of My Own"
27 - Muharram/New Year
1-30 - Together Wee Can "This is What We Did Book"
21 - First Day of Chanukah
22 - December Solstice / First Day of Winter
24 - Christmas Eve
25 - Christmas Day
26 - Boxing Day
26 - Kwanzaa
28 - Last day of Chanukah
31 - New Years Eve
Family Craft Activity: 3D Hanging Poppy
Materials needed: red paint, green paint, white paper, scissors, stapler, string, shredded newspaper.
Directions: cut two poppies of equal size out of white paper. Have your child paint one side of each poppy. Once dry, staple both poppies together along the edges, and make sure you leave an opening on the top. Then ask your child to help stuff the poppy with the shredded newspaper. Once complete staple the entire poppy together. Poke a hole on one end of the poppy and tie a string through to hang.