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Infant Learning!

 

Our infants are consistently provided with important stimuli for encouraging development!  Each baby is treated as an individual who learns at his/her own pace and is influenced by family, nutrition, heredity and culture. Building relationships and rapport with infants is of utmost importance to an infant’s emotional growth.  When caregivers interact, talk, play, and smile with a young child, they positively stimulate social and emotional development. Meeting children’s needs, like feeding, rest and diapering, promotes trust which is the foundation for growing secure behaviors.

All infants learn by exploring, observing and sensing the world around them. They play with age appropriate toys like balls, rattles, soft blocks, musical toys and books. As they handle and manipulate the objects, they are exploring, using their senses, and learning about how things work.

Other ways that children under 18 months of age learn are through:

–  Simple actions like playing on the floor with movable objects (cars, balls, etc.):  This promotes cognitive development as the child learns, with adult guidance, how a ball or toy car can go fast if pushed through cause and effect motions.

–  Large blocks and climbing toys placed in the room:  These promote physical development as young children use these objects and their developing muscles to pull themselves up. Mastering this skill eventually leads to taking those first steps!

–  Directly talking to and engaging young children:  Looking directly at an infant and using your voice promotes language development.

–  Offering sensory experiences:  Providing children with sensory experiences like painting with materials that are safe to ingest, touching various surfaces like sand paper, and listening to various music instruments expand their learning opportunities.

We know that it is imperative that love and attention are available to meet infant’s needs during the early stages of development! This formative stage will assist in determining a child’s characteristics and the way she/he will function in the world.  Every moment with an infant is a learning moment;  make it positive and engaging!  

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Cooking with Kids!

The school age and prekindergarten children have been cooking up a whole lot of learning in their classrooms!  The teachers chose a variety of cooking projects for our children to experiment with; some included recipes that could be completed right in the classroom, such as apple chip drying (with the aid of a food dehydrator), while others were sent off to the kitchen to be finished in the oven or freezer by our kitchen staff, such as homemade bread, octopus hotdogs, whole fruit pop-sickles, and made-from-scratch ice cream!

The children learned a lot about what goes into the creation of some of their favorite treats, both literally and in terms of the effort required.  Many children think that their food comes from the store and have no concept of how it gets there or what ingredients it contains.  Through their culinary efforts they learned things like:  flour is not an ingredient in ice cream, dehydrating apples is a lengthy process even with electricity, and making whipped cream by “kid power” can be exhausting -particularly after making the homemade ice cream to scoop it on!

The benefits of cooking with children are many, including a boost in self-confidence and opportunities for creativity.  Though some of the recipes required careful attention to the recipe, others allowed the children to make decisions for themselves, experiment with ingredient ratios, and make adjustments based on personal taste.  This allowed them to be creative and also helped develop positive self-esteem as they made decisions and contributions that everyone in the class could enjoy.

Other benefits of cooking with children include the math and science learning that are inevitable with these projects.  The children used a variety of instruments to measure both liquid and dry ingredients (math) and observed the changes in states of matter (science) as foods were subjected to heating, freezing, mixing, and dehydrating.  And then there was the pleasure of using their senses for the tasting!  

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Flying High!

Our school-age and pre-k summer campers visited the Rochester Airport to learn about what goes on behind the scenes.  The children were very excited as we boarded the bus and clicked our seatbelts.  Everyone was all smiles and a lot of questions were asked about what they would see!

Our guide, Mr. Don, took us to visit the airfield first where we were lucky enough to see two planes take off!  Mr. Don explained how the pilots spoke to the air traffic control tower and how the landing gear worked on an airplane.

Next was the maintenance department where we saw big machines that helped clear and clean the runways.  We stopped and had lunch inside the airport where we saw an airplane land and dock at the gate.

After lunch we finished our inside tour with a visit to the security room.   Mr. Don had all the children weave back and forth down the hallway to the security office so they didn’t set off the “special alarms” that were only as tall as the children – they loved it!  Once we got to the security office the children were able to watch themselves on camera weaving down the hallway, which made everyone giggle!  Mr. Bob showed the children all the areas of the airport that the security team watch and work keep safe for travelers.

Everyone enjoyed the tour and gained more knowledge about how the airport works.  The next time one of the families travel, their child may be able to explain what is happening behind the scenes to help make the flying experience more enjoyable!

 

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Preschool Bikers!

Bike Day at Care-a-lot was celebrated by the preschoolers bringing their bike to the center and practicing their skills!  There is something special about bikes that naturally draw children’s interest.  Bikes represent fun, freedom, and fresh air — everything that’s good about being a child! Biking is also a healthy activity that kids never outgrow.

Because children are drawn to the magic of bike riding, they are much more likely to engage in sustained physical exercise through biking. There are many physical benefits;  it helps develop strength, balance and overall fitness in children.  It is also a great way to burn calories! Exerting energy in bike riding strengthens the heart, lungs, and lower-body muscles and bones.  In particular, it develops and strengthens the muscles surrounding the knees without impact.

The children had a great time working their muscles and trying new skills with their bikes in the obstacle course!  Keep on bikin’!

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Summer Ice!

To celebrate summer, KONA ICE and their party truck came to Care-a-lot!  Both parents and children were able to enjoy a fruity and refreshing treat during a hot summer afternoon! The children were able to choose many different color and delicious flavor combinations to create their own personalized snow cone;  parents were able to sit, relax and enjoy a cool treat with their child and friends after a long day of work.  Yeah for the beautiful and refreshing days of summer!

 

IMG_3977 BP Hen Kona Ice Sep 3         IMG_3988 BP Hen Kona Sep 2

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