Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Week of the Young Child


The Week of the Young Child is an annual event hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) that celebrates young children, early learning, teachers, and families. This year’s event is April 16-20!

NAEYC has nearly 60,000 members and many regional affiliates that work together to “focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.”

NAEYC plans the event and the themes for each day, and the individual communities find a way to really bring those events to life for the children.

The themed days this year are:
·         Monday, April 16, 2018: Music Monday
·         Tuesday, April 17, 2018: Tasty Tuesday
·         Wednesday, April 18, 2018: Work Together Wednesday
·         Thursday, April 19, 2018: Artsy Thursday
·         Friday, April 20, 2018: Family Friday

As you celebrate this event with your kids, check out these great resources and events in the Ann Arbor area, and also check out the Michigan Association for the Education of young Children:
·        

 Music:
 Cooking and Nutrition:


 Building Together:

 Open Ended Art:
 Engaging and Celebrating Families:

At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare, we love to celebrate children and their families, and all the ways that they learn and grow. To find out more about our facility and our teachers, contact us today to schedule a tour!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child

You lead a busy life when you have a toddler, and the hectic, noisy days can seem to go on and on. However, while the days with your babies or toddlers can seem long, the years will fly by! How can you make sure that you’re spending enough quality time with your children?

Harley A. Rotbart M.D., from Parents Magazine, writes, “Every day brings new growth, new milestones, and new wonderment, but the challenges of juggling our adult lives often prevent us from fully appreciating the delicate nuances of childhood.”



Rotbart recommends these ideas to optimize the time you spend with your kids:

  • Practice parenting meditation: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to switch into auto pilot with your kids. To try to stay in the moment with your kids, focus on really seeing them, hearing them, understanding them, and really take a minute to be amazed by the little one you’ve created.
  • Take pajama walks: The hour before bedtime can be chaotic, especially with young children. To help them calm down, weather permitting, take a walk in your pajamas! Not only will it give your kids time to decompress, it will also give you time alone with them that might otherwise be spent in front of the TV.
  • Don’t drive everywhere: If you’re able, try to go to the park, or a friend’s house by foot. Walking with your kids is a great way to get exercise, and spend some quality time together.
  • Have a special treat day: Create traditions like having ice-cream sundaes after dinner on Friday nights, or a movie night once per week where you have popcorn. 

The key to all of these tips is to focus on turning every minute you spend with your children during a busy day into a memorable moment, rather than worrying about how much time you can spend each day with them.

At Little Angels, we spend a lot of time promoting friendship, creativity, imagination, and exploring nature. At our preschool in Ann Arbor, we know that every minute your child is learning and growing is important! To learn more about our teaching approach and curriculum, schedule a tour of our facility! Visit our website to learn more.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fun Activities to do in the Snow

Enjoying another Michigan winter? Around here, snow and cold is a way of life. When the temperatures aren’t bitter cold, and the sidewalks are shoveled, it’s time to play!

There are so many great ways to enjoy the outdoors even in cold weather, and Parents.com has come up with some great activities to make sure you and your child are getting outside for fresh air every day.

Remember: bundle up! Exposed skin in temperatures 20 degrees or below is susceptible to frostbite! Make sure to layer your kids’ clothing. Avoid cotton, as it tends to hold moisture. Keep their body heat up by properly covering their little feet, hands, and heads.

Next up: fun in the snow!

  1. Cool snow critters: take a break from the everyday snowman, and try making animal sculptures out of snow! Long caterpillars will come to life when you use sticks for antennas and pine cones for eyes.
  2. Ice maker: when the temperature drops below freezing, you can blow bubbles with your child and watch them freeze on the end of the wand.
  3. Tic tac snow: Draw a grid in the snow and use crisscrossed sticks and pine cones as game pieces.
  4. For the birds: String cranberries, popcorn, and cereal onto fishing line and decorate the trees. Watch as the birds come for a snack!
  5. Build a fort: You can use sand buckets, loaf pans, and even cut-up empty milk cartons to form the shape of a snow castle!

At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare, we go outside every day (except in the bitter cold, when we utilize the large play space in our building)! At our preschool in Ann Arbor, we’re always trying out fun new games that allow the children to use their imagination.

To find out more about our nature-inspired curriculum, schedule a tour today! You’ll meet our team and see our one of a kind outdoor play area. In addition, make sure to check out our friends at Hike It Baby Ann Arbor, a parent group in the Ann Arbor area focused on getting families outdoors together in a supportive and safe environment.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Simple Ways to Raise Your Child’s Self Esteem

As a parent, having a happy and healthy child is the greatest gift you can be given. A child who feels loved, cared for, and is confident in his or her self-image can grow up to do great things, and have a very successful adult life!

So, how can you give your child the best building blocks for their self-esteem? Raising confident kids can be tricky – you don’t want them to feel like they should have things handed to them, but rather, you probably want them to have the mindset that if they work hard, they can accomplish anything.


At Little Angels, we believe that kids learn by doing. Teaching them to be confident in their own abilities will lead them to feel they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to!

Parents.com came up with a list of do’s and don’ts in order to boost your child’s self-esteem:

•    Do give children choices! Giving your kids choices (within reasonable options that you’ve thought out beforehand) can make them feel empowered. Start small – offer them a choice of breakfast foods, or a choice of two outfits for school. Learning to make simple choices will help prepare your child for more difficult choices in the future.

•    Don’t do everything for your child. Be patient – let your child work things out. It might be easier and less frustrating for you to just dress your child in the morning, but letting your child do it his or herself can help teach new skills.

•    Do let your child know that no one is perfect! Explain that no one expects your child to be perfect, and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Your child likely learns a lot of reactions from watching you, so be careful about how you react to their mistakes or disappointments.

•    Don’t offer insincere praise. Kids are the masters at detecting compliments or praise that are baseless. Praise your kids often, but be specific! For example, instead of telling your child that their artwork is the “greatest in the world”, try, “I really like how you drew the whole family. You even included details like Daddy’s beard!”

•    Do assign age-appropriate household chores. Giving your kids responsibility for tasks like setting the table, walking the dog, and folding laundry can increase their feelings of competency and help boost their problem-solving skills.

At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare, we believe in letting kids explore their own boundaries while they learn. We teach kids to solve problems, and to try new things each and every day. To find out more about our teaching philosophy and to schedule a tour of our daycare in Ann Arbor, please contact us today!


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Adding A Kid’s Art Gallery To Your Home

Do your kids love to paint, draw, or color? Are they constantly making new works of art for you to hang on the fridge, or put on your desk at work?

Art is a great way for kids to use their imagination and express themselves. When they create a new work of art, what better way to boost their confidence than by showcasing their work in their very own art studio?

Our friends at An Everyday Story created a gallery in their home, and it turned out beautifully! A place to share your child’s art will not only make he or she feel proud, but add a really personal touch to your home decor.

A home art gallery can be a space to observe your child’s growth – you can keep drawings and colored pictures up for months to see how he or she is improving over time, and to keep as keepsakes when he or she gets a little older.



Here are some easy options to create your art gallery:

  1. String/yarn and clothespins
  2. Picture frames and nails
  3. Cork board and thumbtacks
  4. GoodHangups (removable and reusable stickers)
String and clothespins is the easiest option. To start, tie a loop at one end of the string or yarn, and use a nail or thumbtack to keep this part in place. Do the same thing at the other end of the string. Once your line is in place, you can pin your child’s works of art to the line with clothespins!

Picture frames and nails are sturdier, but your child probably won’t be able to hang their art on their own, as they could with a clothespin. Picture frames look a little more professional, however, and wooden frames that your child can paint are relatively cheap at the craft store.

Corkboard and thumbtacks also require a little supervision, but can be a good alternative to putting holes in the walls of your home.

Finally, GoodHangups are a brand of reusable, removable stickers that are great for hanging art on the wall! These stickers won’t damage your paint, and can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as brick, concrete, wood, and even textured walls.

To learn more about how we use arts and crafts at Little Angels, visit our website! As the trusted and preferred day care in Ann Arbor, we love using our imaginations with children! Call us today and schedule a tour to learn more.

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!