Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why You Shouldn’t Obsess About Milestones


As a parent it can be easy to overthink every milestone in your child’s life, especially if you’re friends with other parents whose children are around the same age.

Comparing your kids to others is natural, and worrying about developmental milestones is a common worry among parents. However, you don’t need to stress!

According to Parents.com, “Child development is a continuum, a gentle ramp or incline, not a series of discrete steps on a staircase. Although the differences between a 6-month old and a 6-year old are very dramatic, the differences between a 6-month old and an 8-month old are much less so. Some kids walk at 9 months, others at 15 months or later. That doesn’t predict their future SAT scores or athletic scholarships.”

Kids can be surprising, taking leaps and bounds in development and learning to do things like reading and writing very early, while some might struggle to do these things at the same age.


As long as you give your children the best opportunities to learn and explore, the developmental steps will come in time!

If you’re worried that kids your child’s age seem to be developing more rapidly, remember that everyone has their own learning speed and style! However, if you have serious concerns about developmental progress in your child, you should speak with your doctor for reassurance.

At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare, we’re the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor. We believe that children learn by doing, and use the Reggio-Emilia approach to learning in order to provide them with a nurturing, creative space to learn and grow.

For more information about developmental milestones and for some ideas of what you can do outside of daycare to help your child grow, please contact us today or visit our website!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

5 Sun Crafts For Kids

During the summer, it can be easy for kids to forget all the great lessons their teachers gave them during the school year! On a warm, summer day, the last thing kids want to do is sit down to learn something.

To keep their brains sharp over the summer months and make sure that they’re out enjoying the sunshine and having fun at the same time, try these fun crafts!

1. Make a sun catcher: Use transparent gel sheets in different colors, and have the kids trace different shapes. If they’re old enough, they can cut them out too, leaving the adhesive backing on. To make the frame for the sun catcher, use laminating paper to stick the gel sheets to, and put another sheet over top. Cut out a circle and smooth out any air bubbles. Use a hole-punch to put a hole in the top, and use yarn as a hanger! For gel transparent sheets, try these from Amazon! This craft will let them see what happens when light hits colors, and when certain colors overlap to create new colors.

2. Sun-dried handmade tiles: This activity is a great excuse to get a little messy and creative! The tiles are made from scratch using salt, flour, and water. Mix ¾ cup salt, 1 ½ cups flour, and ½ cup water in a mixing bowl, and knead for two minutes. Kids are great helpers for this step! Once the mixture is well mixed, press it out like you would dough. To create impressions, you can use a rubber stamp with designs like a flower, sunshine, animals, or whatever your child picks out. Afterwards, use acrylic paint to decorate the design, and place the tile on a tray. Leaving it in direct sunlight for several hours, wait until the sun dries the paint and hardens the tile, leaving you with a great piece for your garden, or your home!

3.    Paper plate sundials: To make this craft, all you need is a paper plate, markers, craft sticks or Popsicle sticks, and a hot glue gun. On the inside of the paper plate, have your child use the markers to draw a pattern that they choose. A round image like a sun, or flower, works best. Use a ruler to locate the center of the plate and make a small ‘x’. This is where the craft stick will go. Put a small drop of hot glue over the ‘x’ and position the craft stick vertically and hold it straight for a few seconds until the glue dries. Around the edge, write the numbers 1 through 12 to represent the time of day, and keep the sundial outside. This is a great way to get outdoors, be creative, and learn to tell time!

4.    Shadow drawings: For this activity, you’ll need a sheet of drawing paper, pencils, and markers. Have your child find several small items (animal figurines work best) with interesting shapes that will cast a fun shadow. Head to a sunny spot and look where the shadow falls. Put the paper directly under the shadow and use a marker to outline carefully. This will give your child practice at drawing and tracing, and allow them to use their imagination to fill in the colors!

5.    Melted crayon window hanging: To create this fun window hanging that explores how light can change color, you’ll need one sheet of white paper, 4 to 5 small bits of crayons in various colors, a crayon sharpener or cheese grater, scissors, tape, a hole puncher, and string. To make the window hanging, grate or sharpen the crayon bits and create a pile of shaving that can be melted down. Place the shavings on the piece of paper. Remember, you don’t need to use the oven for this – you can take the shavings outside on a warm day and leave them on a metal pan in the direct sun! Once the shavings have melted, let the paper cool in some shade, and then remove it from the metal pan. Punch a hole near the edge and use the string to create a loop. Hang this in the window and enjoy the rainbow!

 



These activities are all great ways to get your child outdoors and keep them exploring during the summer months, especially if they’re planning to go to preschool in Ann Arbor in the fall!


If you’re looking for a great preschool and daycare in the Ann Arbor area, we want to hear from you! Little Angels Preschool & Daycare is the trusted and preferred center for kids in the Washtenaw area. We believe in letting kids explore and use their imaginations to learn and grow. For more information, visit our website!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Arts & Crafts: Capture the Colors Of Spring

Spring is on its way! The weather is getting warmer, the grass is finally turning green again, and that gray color that’s been sticking around all winter is finally giving way to bright, spring colors!

At Little Angels, we go outside every day (even in the winter!), and spring coming back is one of our favorite times of the year. We do a lot of activities to celebrate spring, and want to share one that you can do at home with your child!

Observational Painting


Observational painting is a great way to let your kids use their imagination to describe how they see the world around them, and a way for them to practice matching colors to things they see in real life.

Take your kids outside and have them point out their favorite colors in things they see. You can even take a few photos on your phone so they have something to look at while they paint or draw.

Later, have them recreate the colors and designs they saw outside! To keep it clean, Crayola has a line of paints that are totally washable. If paint is still too messy for your kids, try colored pencils, crayons, or markers.

To add a craft element to your art project, clip some leaves and flowers from your garden and your kids can trace them to have more realistic leaves on their painting.

For the inspiration for this craft and to see more ideas, visit An Everyday Story!

To learn more about how we use arts and crafts to encourage freethinking and creativity at Little Angels, visit our website! As the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor, parents like you trust us to provide a safe and positive learning environment for toddlers in the Ann Arbor area. Join our family today!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

5 Ways to Prep Your Kids for Daylight Saving Time

If you have small children at home, chances are your sleep schedule is already a bit irregular! Throw in daylight saving time, and it can be really hard to adjust everyone’s schedules, including your own.

Daylight saving time can act like jet lag, leaving you feeling groggy for a few days after the change. Whether it’s “springing forward” or “falling back,” the lack of sleep that usually occurs with this time change can be especially hard on your kids.

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According to Parents.com, “Young children need more sleep and don’t tolerate sleep deprivation as well as adults. The loss of just one hour can really affect a child’s attention span, appetite, and overall mood.”

There are some easy ways you can help your kids adjust to this big change in their schedules, and help everyone in your home be in a better mood!


  1. Take Baby Steps – Try making the adjustment gradually rather than just setting the clock forward or backward one night and expecting your child to adjust. Prepare the week beforehand by making bedtime a little bit earlier each night until your child is going to bed an hour before they usually do.
  2. Control the Lights – Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s internal clock, and it increases in the evening when it gets dark out. Daylight saving time can alter this schedule a little bit, and that’s when it gets hard for kids – they don’t want to go to sleep when it’s still light outside! To fix this, make sure your kids stop using electronics about 30 minutes before bedtime, including watching TV. This will help their brains relax before it’s time to sleep.
  3. Stick with a Routine – It’s important to stick to a routine at bedtime. Even when you have to change the clocks, remember to keep the bedtime routine of washing up, reading, listening to music, or whatever relaxing activities they like the same even if their bedtime is changing.
  4. Get Enough Sleep Now – Going into daylight saving time well-rested can greatly help your child because he or she won’t be cranky, which can make falling asleep even harder. 
  5. Be Sympathetic – If your child’s mood is bad after daylight saving time, try to be more forgiving. Parents.com says, “The time change can cause such short-term changes in your child’s mood, but your understanding and support will help him or her adjust a little better.” 


Don’t forget – daylight saving time this year is on Sunday, March 12th! We hope these tips will help you, and your child have a smooth transition into the spring.

For more tips on how to deal with other behavioral issues with your child, check out our website! We’re the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor and work hard to provide children with a positive, encouraging learning space.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Taming Your Kids’ Temper Tantrums

If your child is prone to temper tantrums, you know that they can make you feel like you’re close to having a meltdown, too! Young kids – mostly those between ages one and four – haven’t developed the coping skills they need to react calmly to negative situations, which usually results in a temper tantrum.

If you’re having a hard time getting those meltdowns under control, you’re not alone! Plenty of parents struggle to figure out what to do to calm down a child when they’re in the middle of an episode.

Ray Levy, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist says, “for children between one and two, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need – more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there – but not having the language skills to do it.”

Levy suggests that tantrums are the result of small children getting frustrated when their parents don’t respond the way they want them to.

So, how can you stop these outbursts from occurring so often? According to Parents.com, there are several ways you can keep these temper tantrums at bay, including:


  1. Ignore the child during the tantrum – Researchers suggest that during a tantrum, the emotions in your child are on overdrive, which is why reasoning doesn’t work. Let your child work out his or her frustration, and once the child calms down, then you can talk.
  2. Give your child some space – In a controlled environment (where your child won’t hurt him or herself), sometimes it’s best to let your child work out the anger. Teaching them how to vent in a non-destructive way will actually be good for children in the long run.
  3. Create a diversion – Keep some books or toys handy in your purse, car, or in different places around the house to use as a distraction when your child starts to get fussy or frustrated.
  4. Find out what’s really frustrating them – For kids three years or younger, their vocabulary isn’t enough for them to tell you why they’re upset. Working on communication effectively could be the key to stopping a tantrum.
  5. Hugs – This may seem like a no brainer, but when a child is frustrated, sometimes all he or she needs is a big hug to feel more secure. 


For more advice on how to deal with your child when they start to get angry or frustrated, visit our website and see other posts on our blog about behavior! At Little Angels, we do everything we can to make your child feel like he or she is being heard and being taken care of. That’s why parents like you made us the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor! Call us today to find out more!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Letter From Little Angels

Dear Parents,

Living in a diverse community of people is something to be celebrated, but, in the current political climate, can also be scary, confusing, and frustrating for many of our children. We want you to be aware that there has been a lot of talk about Donald Trump in the Preschool A and Pre-K classrooms recently. In our community, we never want to dismiss a child’s feelings, whatever they may be. Instead, we want to redirect them into a healthy conversation about what we can do and assure them that their parents, as well as their teachers, will always keep them safe. As a parent, stay informed, but, also, if your child is within earshot of adult conversations or news bits, explain some of the information in an age-appropriate way. This will avoid confusion and fear of what they do not understand.

At the bottom of this email is a list of some of the phrases that we are giving to our teachers to help with some of the fears and confusion that some of the children are expressing. Please feel free to read through them and use them, as well. These are starting points for the teachers who will be carrying on the idea of “kindness”, “respect”, and “love” this month and beyond.

To make clear, here at Little Angels, we believe that we are all equal. Little Angels is committed to creating a safe space for ALL people, regardless of their race, religion, culture, sex, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or ability. We stand in support with our immigrant, refugee, and Muslim families. We believe that our community is stronger because of the diversity we have with our staff, as well as the children and their families. You are safe here.

Thank you for being a part of our community,
Little Angels Management Team

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. I know it’s not what you wanted, but the people voted and that’s what happens in a democracy.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. We’re still going to do what we’ve always done, which is practice loving kindness, and to stand up to bullies.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. Let’s try our best to be thankful for what we have, instead of mad about what we don’t have.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. Your parents and your teachers are always here to talk to and we will always do our best to keep you safe.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. Here at Little Angels, we respect one another. We may come from different places and believe different things, but we treat one another with the same respect we expect to be treated with.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. There are many heroes in this country, and they will work hard to keep people from doing the bad things. And even if it takes a long time, heroes don't stop fighting.”

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. There are a lot of smart people whose job is checking on the president to make sure he does the right thing — just like your mom and dad and your teachers have checks and balances on you to make sure you're making good choices."

“I know you’re feeling [label the feeling]. If we all are more open and kind, maybe others will learn to be as well. Trump might have some things to teach us, and we might have some things to teach him. If enough of us act with kindness and respect, he might change too."

Let Your Kids Cook For You!

Now that the holidays are over, it can be a struggle to keep kids entertained. To switch up your routine for playtime at home, and to get their creative juices flowing, put on your chef’s hat and get your child involved at dinnertime!

Our friends at Let The Children Play shared this fun activity they did at their facility, and we think it would work perfectly at home, too!

Obviously supervision is required, but you can find many ways to make it work for your family! If you or your significant other has a birthday coming up, try making a special birthday dinner with your child, or have your child help you make a cake.

Cooking something for you will teach your child how to follow instructions, and they’ll love creating a dish for you with bright colors and different textures!

Of course, there are dishes that are easy to make, and some that are more difficult. Try to pick foods that will allow them to do most of the work. Here are some suggestions:


  • Colorful veggie salad – Salads are relatively easy to make. Make sure you’re the one cutting up any large veggies, though! 
  • Sandwiches – let your child be creative with ingredients!
  • Fruit salad – You can buy fun shaped fruit cutters at your grocery store to make cutting up fruits easier and more fun! 
  • Pizza - Use english muffins for the "dough", or even pieces of bread! Find recipes online for stovetop pizzas.


To make this activity more special in warmer months, consider planting a vegetable garden and have your kids help! You can create little signs with your child to stick in the ground that mark each plant, and then use the vegetables you grow to make food throughout the year.

For more information about different activities to try with your child, see our other blog posts! Little Angels is the trusted and preferred preschool in Ann Arbor and we love to play outside and use our imagination.