Joseph H. Messina Center kids pitch their own tent

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/1/17 9:00 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in outdoor activities, summer, children, play, development

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When you think back on your memories of summer camp, what stands out the most? Forging friendships? Canoeing? S’mores by a bonfire? While planning activities for summer camp, Joseph H. Messina Center employees were inspired by their personal camp experiences and decided to help the children pitch their own tent.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/19/17 5:09 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, children, play, behavior, music movement, development

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The old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” However, we Floridians know that the real rain starts in May and can last through October! Southwest Florida may be going through a bit of a drought at the moment, but rainy season is almost upon us. While playing outside can be little tricky on a rainy day, Spring weather provides the perfect opportunity to keep our kids engaged and curious about their surroundings and everyday experiences. 

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Practicing mindfulness with children

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/5/17 3:21 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, children, play, behavior, music movement, development

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Feeling stressed out or overworked lately? Is your child having trouble dealing with their emotions? Do you ever feel like having a full body tantrum on the floor like your toddler? 

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Dealing with challenging behaviors in a positive way

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/29/17 1:01 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in play, development

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While it can be difficult to handle a child’s challenging behavior, communication is always key. Everyone in the home or family should be aware of the situation in order to best understand how to support and help the child, in addition to understanding how they can individually contribute. Some examples of challenging behaviors could be: a child hurting themselves or others, biting, repetitive destructive behavior, etc.

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Kids on the move

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/27/17 2:32 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in play, development

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Transportation has been a natural interest of little minds for years. Children are enjoying learning about cars, trains, boats, planes, trucks, and other forms of transportation now more than ever. Here are a few transportation activities to captivate little minds:

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Music and Movement

[fa icon="calendar'] 2/14/17 3:41 PM / by Patricia Guth posted in Learning, play, music movement, development

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Most children seem to enjoy the sound of music. They often ask to hear their favorite songs again and again, usually not caring how their voices, or the voice of the adult sounds while singing it. Movement seems to follow naturally with music.
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The Five Different Play Categories of Early Learning

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/3/16 12:16 PM / by Claudia Auger posted in Learning, play

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Did you know that there are five different play categories of early learning? These categories can be combined or practiced individually. Does your early learner encounter all of these categories each week? See below to find out!

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Letting Go of Screen Time

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/21/15 10:00 AM / by Claudia Auger posted in Child care, Learning, summer, children, play, activities

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Letting Go of Screen Time

How much time do you spend each day in the car with your early learner? If you're like most parents, driving your child to and from school and then to other activities, it could add up to over two hours per day! While it's tempting to put a DVD into the portable player, or set your child to playing an educational game on the iPad, car rides are great opportunities for valuable bonding time with your child, and also for working on increasing skills and knowledge.

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Active Kids = Active Minds

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/6/15 4:25 PM / by Claudia Auger posted in Child care, Learning, play, development, activities

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Active Kids = Active Minds

Having worked in both remediation and gifted education Pre-K through college for over six years, I am often asked by family and friends for tips and tricks of how their children can get a running start on the path to success. This is especially true for my loved ones who have a child just entering preschool—and even younger. For these very young ones (and all other ages), my advice is always this: PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!

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