Outdoor play in preschool: why it matters

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/27/17 12:00 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Outdoor Activities, Play, Early Learning

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Playing outdoors is the best place for your preschooler to practice and master emerging physical skills. The outdoors can help children freely and fully experience motor skills such as running, jumping and leaping. Set up an obstacle course with old tires, large appliance boxes, and tree stumps. Moving through it will teach important concepts like over, under, through and around.

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Fun, Family Activities For Fall

[fa icon="calendar'] 11/1/17 9:00 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Outdoor Activities, Play, Family, Seasons

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If your anything like me, you have been patiently waiting for the changing of the seasons. Well it seems as if it is finally beginning to feel like fall here in Southwest Florida. The snowbirds are arriving and the temperature is beginning to drop. As the summer heat begins to fade, it becomes time to take advantage of this fall weather with some exciting activities that the whole family can enjoy.

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Creative Expression Activities For Your Child

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/2/17 5:19 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, Children, Play, Development, Activities, STREAM

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Education doesn’t have to be constrained by traditional learning. Activities promoting creative expression are a great way to expand your child’s curiosity and cultivate their imagination. Encouraging children to communicate through movement, visuals and through sounds and words is an essential developmental tool that can make learning FUN for your child.

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Vlog: The Philosophy of Play

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/11/17 7:00 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Play, Development, Vlog

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Ally Kulbeda, Teacher at the Children's Learning Center at FSW, explains her philosophy on play and how it helps infant development.

 

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Vlog: In VPK, Play Equals Learning

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/16/17 4:46 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, Play, Development, Vlog

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In our latest vlog, Jenna Thompson, VPK Teacher at the Children's Learning Center at FSW, explains why play-based learning is most appropriate for children and helps them in every aspect of their lives.

 

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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, Play, Development, CCSWFL News

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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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Vlog: The Importance of Play

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/11/17 10:32 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Play, Development, Vlog

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Research shows that children learn through play. Playing is a key part of healthy brain development as it encourages children to use their imagination while helping develop their physical, cognitive, and emotional skills. It is also an important part of how little ones discover and interact with the world around them.

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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 Outdoor Activities, Learning, Children, Play, Development, Seasons

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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.

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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, 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, Behavior, 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.

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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, Activities

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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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Are kids playing it TOO safe?

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/24/17 2:21 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Play, Development, Activities

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When parents drop their children off at preschool or daycare, they should feel at ease knowing that they’re leaving their kids in a safe, supervised environment…but is it possible for schools to be too safe?

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Music and Movement

[fa icon="calendar'] 2/14/17 3:41 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, Play, Development, Activities

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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, Development

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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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5 Ways Your Toddler’s Early Learning Center Facilitates Play Learning

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/10/16 11:50 PM / by Claudia Auger posted in Child Care, Teachers, Learning, Play

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Is your toddler enrolled in an early learning program? See below for five ways that your child’s early learning teacher facilitates play-based learning for your child’s development.

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Four Ways to Promote Cognitive Development and Their Matching Activities

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/29/16 9:00 AM / by Claudia Auger posted in Play, Development, Activities

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Ron Spreeuwenberg of Hi Mama (an early learning resource) states that there are four different groups of activities that promote cognitive development in early learners. Cognitive development, or brain development, in the preschool years is incredibly important for early learners as they proceed from grade to grade.

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Using Playdough to Teach Your Preschooler Important Skills

[fa icon="calendar'] 2/16/16 9:03 AM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Children, Play, Development, Activities

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When your preschooler is experimenting, they’re also learning. This is especially true when they’re playing with a easy-to-mold clay like Playdough. It stimulates their senses, as well as gives them an opportunity to use their imagination. Just one tube can provide endless hours of excitement for your budding learner, not to mention helping their hand-eye coordination, and general concentration.

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4 Must-Have Manipulatives for Early Learners

[fa icon="calendar'] 2/9/16 12:31 PM / by Claudia Auger posted in Child Care, Play, Development, Activities

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Manipulatives are objects used to assist learning and engage early learners in play-based and hands-on learning. They are used in classrooms from early learning all the way through high school to introduce and assist with different concepts. Some parents are unaware that they already have learning assistive manipulatives at home, while others may be looking to add to their collection of learning-based toys.

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Five Low-Maintenance Rainy Day Activities for Early Learners

[fa icon="calendar'] 1/28/16 12:00 AM / by Claudia Auger posted in Play, Development, Activities, Seasons

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Have you and your early learner been stuck inside lately due to rain or snow? I surveyed my friends and colleagues to find out their screen-free, fun, and easy rainy day secrets!

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Letting Go of Screen Time

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/21/15 10:00 AM / by Claudia Auger posted in Learning, Children, Play, Activities

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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!

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Active Kids = Active Minds

[fa icon="calendar'] 10/6/15 4:49 PM / by Claudia Auger posted in Child Care, Learning, Play, Development, Activities

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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.

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5 Reasons Why Play is Vital To Learning

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/24/15 4:16 PM / by Child Care of Southwest Florida posted in Learning, Play, Development

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Playing house, playing store, games on the playground, and pretend phone calls, what do all of these scenarios have in common? They are acts of play that are also learning opportunities. It's easy to think that playing isn't learning and vice versa. To the eye, it may seem like a silly game, but in reality all of these games can have targeted objectives.

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