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~Developed by a Waldorf-Inspired Childcare Provider and Mother of Four Daughters

November 2009 Newsletter

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 Featured Sponsor:  Love & Tea 
 love and tea
We blend a rainbow variety of teas - each one from a ray of love focused on a particular element of life.
Using organic herbs that we and other small scale family farms grow, we carefully handcraft natural, health promoting herbal tea blends to nourish women through the stages of pregnancy and beyond. And, remembering the rest of the family, we blend a creative collection of teas for anyone to enjoy anytime. We support natural health, positive vibrations, peace, sisterly and brotherly love, taking care of this world, and all good things, you know!.
Volume 2 Issue 10
In This Issue
November's Featured Sponsor
Autumn Childcare Menu
Advertise with Little Acorn
November Sponsors
Tree of Thanks
Children's Yoga: A Yoga Sandwich
Article: Fostering Self-Esteem in Children
Autumn Childcare Menu
summer menu
 
More Details!
Advertise Your Business In Our DECEMBER Newsletter! 
 
 Contact Us for Inexpensive and Effective Advertising in Our Monthly Newsletters!
 
dōTERRA - Sharing the Gift of the Earth
 
Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils for Your Family's Health and Wellbeing. 
 
COMPLIMENTARY phone or online consultations!   

 Little Acorn Learning November Sponsors
 
Exhale Blog
    warmth for children 
Enjoy the Autumn Season with
Our November Childcare Guide!
We are now offering both a 3-day and 5-day program option for your natural learning experience!
http://www.littleacornlearning.com
**The Books will be Emailed to You Within 24 Hours of Your Order!  
Please note that the files are sent to the email address listed in your PayPal Profile.
 

thanksgiving song 

Thanksgiving Song
 
Оver the river and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go,
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow'
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
Trot fast, my dappled gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate!
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood,
Now Grandmother's cap I spy,
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Tree of Thanks

tree of thanks

Supply List
 
Vase
Branches
Construction Paper
Scissors
String
Hole Punch
Crayon or Marker
 
Place branches that you find with the children outdoors into a vase.  The branches should be large enough and have smaller branches to hang your Leaves of Gratitude on.  When you have completed, place your tree in your nature place.  You may wish to label your vase 'Tree of Thanks'.
 
Next, cut leaf shapes out of various colored construction paper.  Punch a hole in each leaf and have children help you tie string to each one for hanging.  Make enough leaves to use until it is time to put Autumn behind and prepare your Winter nature place.
 
Each day, beginning with today, ask each person that enters your home to write one thing they are thankful for on a leaf and hang it on the tree.  For young children, they can draw a picture on a leaf or you can write the word for them.  Putting the person's name and date on the back of the leaf is a good idea for future reference.  Extra leaves and a marker can be left in a basket near your tree.
 
When it is time to take your tree down, consider saving the leaves of this year to reflect upon years ahead.  You can even paste them into your nature notebooks or make a special scrapbook.  If you are a daycare provider, you can create a book out of each child's leaves this season and send them home for parents to see.

Children's Yoga Fun :: A Soothing Yoga Sandwich
 

This is a great transition into rest time or to help bring a child's energy back down after more active play.
 
Lay a playsilk on the ground as a piece of bread.
Have a child lie down on the playsilk. 
Ask the child what ingredients he or she would like on their sandwich and begin adding them.
Use your hands on the child's back* to express the ingredients as you describe what you are doing with your words.

Now I'm spreading the peanut butter (brush your hands up and down the child's back)...Now I'm adding some chocolate chips (gently press your fingers along the sides of the spine)...Here comes some shredded cheese (tickle your fingers along the arm) etc.

Once the sandwich is complete (I find that I usually have to decided when it is complete...my children would let this activity go on indefinitely) gently lay a second playsilk on top to complete the sandwich.

*Follow the child's lead and your best judgment on where s/he is comfortable being touched. For many children lying on their belly and having someone rub their back is most comfortable. If other children are assisting, be sure to help them touch each other comfortably and appropriately.

Erin Barrette Goodman (http://www.eringoodman.com/blog) is a writer, yoga teacher and mother in Southern Rhode Island. She is also the founder of the Rhode Island Birth Network, which promotes empowered decision-making during the child-bearing years.

Fostering Self-Esteem in Children by Eileen Straiton

When a small child's physical and emotional needs are tended to and responded to in a timely manner, they are given a sense of safety and security. 

A responsive, loving and consistent caregiver helps to provide the child with a sense of trust in their environment and the people in their lives.  With this security, children are then able to expand their understanding of self and their place in the world around them in a healthy and positive manner.

The program the children are attending is often replacing the nuclear family's daily role in providing a healthy and safe atmosphere which supports children's inherent need to be loved and cared for. 
 
More and more young children are now being placed in non-relative childcare situations and ensuring that these children are given the necessary care and tools they need to develop into whole human beings is crucial. 
 
Nurturing young children can often be looked at as three-fold:  head (thinking), heart (feeling) and hands (physical body).  When a
child is nurtured and cared for head, heart and hands they are provided with a balanced foundation that will later assist the child to successfully cope and find his or her place in the world around them. 

Here are some ways in which we can help our children discover a
true sense of self and pride in their accomplishments:
 
Promote a Positive Outlook
 
When we embrace life and our experiences positively we are modeling this outlook for our children.  Children are watching how we, as caregivers, respond to the individuals and situations that come into our lives.  
 
Young children learn primarily through imitation.  Caregivers and parents must work hard to ensure that the children in their care are surrounded by people, actions and activities that are worthy of being imitated. 
 
Luckily, we can choose our thoughts and reactions at any given moment.  Over time, a positive outlook can become second nature.  Focusing on the positive helps children to know that the world truly is a good place.    
 
There are many ways you can promote a positive outlook in your childcare or family setting:
 
         One Good Thing
 
At dinner time, ask each family member to talk about one good thing that has happened to them during the day.  This activity can be adjusted for an early childhood program by asking children during circle time to talk about one good thing in their lives.     
 
         'I'm Special' Treasure Box
 
Have children write one nice thing about themselves on a piece of paper each day. Put the paper inside a special box and when your child is having a bad day, have them sit and look at all of their special qualities and blessings. 
         Positive Affirmations
 
Use positive affirmations.  Teach yourself and children to use positive self talk especially in times of difficulty.  Statements such as "I am beautiful", "I have family that loves me" and "I am a good girl" can be very affirming to children when repeated over and over again. 
 
It can help to write these down in a special book and add to it frequently.  Have children choose a few to read aloud and think about daily.  Parents and caregivers can benefit deeply by doing this exercise daily in their own journals as a tool to change their attitude to a more positive one. 
 
Create a Nurturing Environment
In my childcare space, we take great care in creating a natural, nurturing, home-like environment that stimulates children's bodies, spirits and souls. 
 
Most play materials are kept simple and usually made of all-natural materials such as wool, wood, cotton and silk.  Loud electronics or constant background noise is kept to a minimum.  We have chosen a paint color in a soft pink hue to create a peaceful feeling in our playroom.  The childcare room is kept organized and tidy as best as possible and children are taught where items belong and how to care for our things.  We garden with the children and spend a lot of time outdoors to help them to learn the magic of the natural world around them. 
 
Caring for Children Physically
 
When children are cared for physically with love and care, it also feeds them spiritually.   Young children should be kept warm and dressed appropriately.  In our childcare program, we often wear slippers indoors to keep the children's feet warm.  We promote healthy and wholesome foods from home and prepare nourishing homemade snacks that the children often help prepare themselves.  Another important part of physical care is making sure children are getting enough rest in the evenings and taking time out during the day to rest and be in silence. 
 
In addition, children need loving physical touch.  Caregivers who cuddle, hug, rock and display loving physical gestures are letting children know that they are loved and special.  Diapering and bottle feeding is done with gentleness and care as we remind ourselves that these times are also bonding experiences for the very little ones.  During nap time, we often rub the children's backs individually for a few minutes to help them to feel safe and loved before going to sleep. 
 
Maintaining a Healthy Rhythm and Routine
 
Children thrive when they are provided with a healthy flow and rhythm to their day.  A consistent and predictable routine is of great comfort to small children.  At Little Acorn Learning, we work hard to have established times for various activities that the children can depend on.  Here is an example of our daily and weekly routine:
 
8:30 Arrival - Free Play - Coloring
9:00 Morning Circle - Fingerplays - Songs
9:30 - Scheduled Activity -(Monday: Baking/Cooking, Tuesday: Painting, Wednesday: Coloring, Thursday: Crafting/Games, Friday:  Housework)
10:00 - Healthy Snack
10:30 Nature Walk - Outdoor Play
12:00 - Eat Lunch Family Style (Outdoors in Nice Weather)
1:00 - Storytime/Quiet Music or Songs
1:30 - Nap/Rest Time
3:30 - Wake - Wash Up - Bathroom/Diapers
3:30-4:30 - Free Play Indoors or Outdoors
4:30 - Dismissal
 
In our experience, a healthy routine accompanied by a good night's sleep has also made a huge difference in the behavior of many children who were struggling in a childcare setting.
 
Provide Opportunity for Open Ended Play
 
It is important for us to allow children to have playthings that allow endless possible scenarios so children are allowed to work from their own imagination creating something out of nothing. 
This sense of accomplishment will encourage the child to expand upon his own creativity and trust his abilities as he or she grows.  It is also important to remember that when working with very young children, it is the process that is most important, not the finished product. 
 
Open-ended creative activities such as watercolor painting, clay modeling or block building where children are creating something out of their own imagination help show the child that they are capable of creation. 
 
Practical Life Skills
 
Young children can gain a sense of pride in their abilities by accomplishing small practical life tasks such as buttoning, zipping, putting on shoes, setting the table or helping to cook a meal. 
 
Even more difficult jobs, such as shoveling, organizing, laundry and home improvements can be shared with young children.  Oftentimes, it can seem easier for adults to just complete the tasks that need to be done on their own; however; allowing the children to work along side of you helps to build positive self-esteem and also occupies the children when caregivers and parents have tasks to complete.  
 
Spending Time and Being Fully Present
Of course, one of the best ways to show your child that they are valuable and special is to spend time with them.  Spending true focused time with children shows them that they are important.  Taking the time to make eye contact with the children and truly participate in the current moment is so very important to a child's development of a healthy self-esteem. 
 
In our very busy lives, we often turn to electronics and media to occupy our children.  Even more often, we, ourselves, are preoccupied and half-listening to our children while focused on our own work or tasks.  Your time is one of the most precious gifts you can give the children in your life.  It is important for us to show them that they are special enough to have our undivided attention. 
 
Forgiving Ourselves
 
While most of us know the correct way to handle situations and the many things we should do, we oftentimes make poor choices.  Raising and caring for children is hard work and none of us should be expected to do it flawlessly. 
 
When we find that we have handled a situation (or many situations) poorly, it is important to let our children know that we have made a mistake.  This shows children that when they make a mistake they are worthy of their own forgiveness as well. 
 
No matter where you are in your journey of caring for young children, you are able to start again and make positive changes to do better.  When we are able to love and forgive ourselves and our imperfections openly, we are able to move forward with a passion and positively influence the lives of those children who cross our path.
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