Author Archive

Organized sports can help children develop in a variety of ways

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Organized sports can help children develop in a variety of ways. Sports provide children an opportunity to learn physical skills (Fine and Gross Motor) and develop the social aspects of being part of a “team.” Sports do not just work the body but also increases cognitive development in children when they are actively engaged in physical activity. Not only do sports provide fun opportunities for children it also promotes a healthy regiment of regular exercise.

There are a great deal of sports programs designed for young children but it is not until about age 6 that most children develop appropriate skill sets and attention span necessary to follow directions and understand the aspects of the game.

This does not mean children cannot engage in sports before the age of 6. Sports can be enjoyable for children from the ages of 3-5 but this experience should be more about fun and learning the basic fundamentals of the game.

If you do decide to sign your child for sports please make sure the league emphasizes the aspects of sportsmanship, safety and fun.  If a child is having a great time playing the sport he/she will have success and want to continue.  When harsh competitive rules are introduced at a young age the fun is removed and children lose interest fast.  This is why at such a young age the most important fundamental of the introduction of sports is FUN!

Ways to Help the Environment Throughout the Year

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Earth Day was on Monday, April 22nd and it is a day to support protecting our environment. On this day, there are many events that take place worldwide. It is so important to remember that not only on Earth day, but throughout the whole year that there are great things for you and your child to do in order to help our planet Earth. The children can learn about and help with the three R’s-  reduce, reuse, and recycle. Another fun activity to do with your child is plant flowers, trees, and start a vegetable garden. If you would be traveling somewhere close, then walking, running, or riding a bike with your child will help the environment. Spending time picking up litter that is on the ground or in the ocean will help the environment as well as help protect the animals. It is so important to remember that even just the smallest action can help the environment as well as the animals living in the environment. The website below has fun games for kids from Earth Day.

http://pbskids.org/games/earthday.html

Did You Know the Benefits of Water Play for Children?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

A lot of children enjoy water play, especially outside during the warmer months of the year! There are so many great benefits from water play. Water play helps a child with gross motor skills. During water play, the children may be running through sprinklers or filling buckets up with water and pouring the water out. Water play also helps with academic learning as well. As far as science, the children are able to learn about floating and sinking and seeing that different objects can sink and float. In math, children are able to learn about measuring a certain amount of water into a bucket, more and less by filling one bucket with more water and one bucket with less water. Water play also encourages creativity. The children are able to pretend and use their imagination, while playing with the water. Water play is a lot of fun and has so many wonderful developmental benefits for your child! I found this information as well as more information and more benefits of water play can be found at the following website:

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=374

March 2013 is Sing With Your Child Month!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Music Together is a wonderful group of teachers who have put together a program of immersion and cooperation in early musical education. From active dramatic play to musical experience and sing along, their program has educated parents, children, and teachers, about the importance of musical education in young minds. This March, they have announced their 25th anniversary! In doing so they are claiming March 2013 as “Sing with your Child month.” There website has links to wonderful activities and tools to assist you in joining in this wonderful celebration at home. This is a program based out of Princeton, NJ but it is internationally recognized for their wonderful work in this field. I highly recommend you check out their website; www.musictogether.com/singmonth for links to fun activities. (more…)

How to Help Your Child Learn to Ride a Bike

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Spring is on its way and it is a good time to think about what age is a good age to learn to ride a bike, and how to help your child learn to ride a bike. I can remember back to my childhood and loving to ride my bike, which I still have a love for today! I can also remember the day that I learned to ride my bike without training wheels. My best friend rode her bike without training wheels to my house with her mom, and then I was determined to learn as well. My dad held onto the bike with me and guided me until I was able to balance and ride my bike all by myself! (more…)

Technology….Do the benefits outweigh the problems?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The short answer is YES! For a child, technology plays may roles:  teacher, babysitter, playmate, and pacifier.  Toddler/preschooler is the most popular age category in the education section in the iTunes app store.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that children under age 2 not be exposed to screen time at all.  Parents of the world have not heard that advice:  90% of parents with children under age 2 let their children use electronic media.  In fact, the AAP is continually reassessing their stance: “We now have to reconcile the fact that little kids (under age 2) are able to use these devices and learn from them” says Gwenn O’Keefe, MD, . (more…)

Helping Your Child With Letter Recognition

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

How should I help my child with letter recognition and why is it important?

Letter recognition is great to work on with your child. The children work on letter recognition, sounding letters out, and writing their letters in the appropriate age classrooms here at LifeSpan. Working on letter recognition will help your child with spelling his/her name, saying his/her ABC’s, writing, and reading. There are so many different ways to work on this with your child. The story Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom is a wonderful and fun story to help children learn and recognize their letters. Teaching the children how to write the different letters is also very helpful. For example: the lower case letter d. One way to teach a child the lower case letter d would be to start with the letter c and then draw a line down to write the letter d. Magnetic letters are also very helpful for children to work with and eventually they will start creating words with the magnets. This time and practice will all help your child with learning to read and write!   http://www.thevirtualvine.com/ccbb.html

When To Start Music Lessons

Friday, December 28th, 2012

When should I start my child in music lessons…By Hunter Chadeayne

As a music educator and caregiver to young children, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “Is it too early to for my child to start music lessons?” Music and movement is a critical part of early childhood development.  It is never too early to expose your young child to music and to involve and immerse them in the arts. Here is a wonderful blog post on childrensmusicworkshop.com  This particular article in their online journal gives an age by age guide into the world of music lessons and programs. It talks about what kind of program might suit your child as they grow into their own interests and talents. If you are interested in programs like these check out your local community calendar and see what’s going on in your neighborhood. To read the article clink the link below!

http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/resources/articles/whentostart.html

 

What Makes a Toy Educational?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Even though I have a degree in education, I still have a challenge at the holiday season when trying to buy good presents for my nieces and nephews.  I always hope that I’m buying something fun AND educational.  I think the advice provided on this podcast is a great benefit to anyone with doubts on their purchases as well as information on what a educational toy is.   http://earlyed.newamerica.net/blogposts/2012/podcast_what_makes_a_toy_educational-74637 (more…)

LifeSpan is…

Monday, October 8th, 2012

So much more than day care!

As an early childhood educator, I am often challenged by the term “day care” so often used to describe the services we provide. When I hear that word, it is as if someone is scraping their nails down a blackboard. While it is true that we provide custodial care to young children while their parents are at work, we do SO much more during the time we share with them.

First, we begin each day by helping the child join their friends in a new setting and separate from their parents at drop off time. We transition them into their classroom with engaging activities and learning opportunities intentionally embedded in their play experiences. We link that learning to their current knowledge and expand that cognitive knowledge by making new connections to their world.

Yes, we PLAY but in doing that we LEARN.

We share meals while teaching manners and ways to positively socially interact with others. We enjoy the outdoors and using our gross motor skills to walk, climb, jump, run and swing. We learn important life lessons like how to share, show empathy to a friend who is sad and how to express our feelings in a safe and positive way. We teach them how to be a good friend, how to accept other people and solve problems together. We build things and we tear them down. We count things (lots and lots of things), we explore patterns and begin to learn early math. We read stories and do finger plays and sing songs. We think about science by experimenting with trial and error and cause and effect. We lay the foundation for all future learning. Above all, we hope that we instill in them the love of learning for a lifetime. But it all starts here…

After all “Teaching is the profession that creates all others!