Thursday, December 1, 2016

Winter Gear Guide

Winter is officially here! To prepare, we've put together this handy guide of the top recommended brands and products for you to buy for your children this winter.

Snowsuits



Boots – Waterproof is important!



Mittens – No cotton mittens. Consider waterproof – NOT water resistant!



Hats – Ones that fasten over the chin are preferred, so they stay on better and cover the ears.



Baselayers – Cotton is rotten, wool is best!



Wool Socks



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Practicing Words With Loose Parts

An interest in reading and writing may start early in some children, but developing small muscles may lead to frustration when the children can not accurately produce the symbol of their choosing. If your child likes to do puzzles or work with blocks and shapes, there’s an activity that could help them learn to spell at the same time!

Our friends at An Everyday Story are raving about Spielgaben, which is essentially a set of materials in curved and straight lines to mimic parts of letters. Your son or daughter can look at a word in front of them, and then re-create the word using these pieces.

Instead of spending money on a kit like this, you can use natural materials and craft materials, such as sticks, pipe-cleaners and even cut pieces of thick construction paper.

This activity encourages freethinking and requires your child to use their problem solving skills to choose the correct shaped pieces to form the word. Once they create it using the materials, try to get them to write it on a lined piece of paper.

If your son or daughter likes to create patterns, this activity would be perfect for them!

To find out more about how to encourage your kids to be creative while learning, visit our website! We believe in a natural play philosophy at Little Angels and want to encourage your child to use his or her imagination at all times.

Call us today to schedule a tour of our preschool in Ann Arbor!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Best Small Pets to Consider For Your Child

If you have small children and are trying to figure out a creative and fun way to teach them responsibility, consider getting them a pet!

Pets are a great way to teach values such as compassion, caring and responsibility, and having a pet will give your child a friend to spend time with.

We’ve compiled a list of seven small pets that are good for children, with help from Parents.com. Remember, when considering a pet for your child make sure to get your son or daughter tested for pet allergies before deciding. Long hair and short hair can make a difference!


  1. Hamsters are easy to care for and can be trained to use litter. However, hamsters have a tendency to be rather nippy, and females can sometimes be aggressive. Larger breeds, such as the Syrian hamster, can adapt easier to being handled and would be better for small kids.
  2. If you’re worried about hamsters being too aggressive for your kids, consider a guinea pig! These small animals have a gentle demeanor and don’t mind being handled as long as it’s done correctly. Guinea pigs also have a longer life span (5-7 years) so consider that and your child’s age when deciding to get one of these cuddly pets.
  3. If you want to teach your child responsibility, get him or her a gerbil. According to Parents.com, “unlike hamsters and guinea pigs, gerbils have a relatively short lifespan -- about two years. Gerbils are not usually aggressive, so they can also be held, but they are very fast, so it won't be easy to hold them for long. This quickness means a lot of activity in the cage, which could pique your child's curiosity.”
  4. If your child wants an interactive pet to form a bond with, a rat is a good choice. Rats are small pets that can learn tricks, are calm and laid back, and don’t mind being handled. Rats are easy to feed and are easily occupied by basic toys, but they also have short lifespans (2-3 years), so consider that when choosing this pet.
  5. Rabbits are good for young children as long as there is also adult supervision. Like guinea pigs, rabbits are good for younger kids because they usually have a very gentle and sociable nature. This is especially important if you want to keep more than one rabbit in the same space. A rabbit can live from 8 to 12 years, can be litter-trained, and is easy to care for.
  6. Chinchillas are a more exotic option for kids who want to watch what their pet does rather than have direct interaction with it. Although they're gentle, chinchillas can be very agile and quick and may not be appropriate for young children who aren't able to handle them. A chinchilla needs a dust bath two to three times a week, given outside of its cage; the cage should be multilevel so it can climb up and down. With a lifespan of around 12 to 15 years, chinchillas tend to live much longer than guinea pigs and other rodents.
  7. Fish are also a great pet for small children, especially those who aren’t comfortable with a hands-on experience, but want to observe, instead. Feeding the fish and learning to clean the tank will teach them responsibility.


For more ideas, talk to your child’s teachers to find out how they can learn responsibility through having a pet!

At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare, we believe that experience-based learning is the best way to let kids grow. To find out more about why we're the most trusted preschool in Ann Arbor, schedule a tour of our facility today!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Simple Play Space Transformations

Trying to keep your toddler or infant occupied at home can be a full time job. With your busy schedule filled with errands, work, extra-curricular activities and taking care of your family, you might feel overwhelmed trying to keep playtime exciting!

So, what can you do at home to keep your kids active and stimulate their imaginations? Creating a play space in your home is easier than you might think, and you probably have the supplies for it sitting around, gathering dust.

Here are a few tips and suggestions below for creating a fun, natural play shelter space in your home or backyard:


  1. Using a tent, blankets, or teepee like structures, creating a shelter or fort for your children is easy! Children will have fun decorating their spaces and making them their own. Pop-up shelters or half-tents (typically used outdoors) can be bought cheaply at garage sales. These are easy to move around indoors too, which is great for bad weather days.
  2. For more natural play spaces, try using sticks, logs and branches, and drape an old sheet, blankets, or colorful fabric over the top. 
  3. The best shelters and play spaces are the ones that your kids make by themselves. Provide them with the supplies, and see what their imaginations can come up with!
  4. Filling a fort or tent with blankets and pillows will make it a comfortable space for your child to read, color, watch movies, and play with their friends. This shelter, indoors or outdoors, can also double as a place for naptime, and even a good spot for an impromptu picnic. 


Get creative! Almost anything you have in your home can be put together to make a fun playtime shelter for your kids. Add some toys, books and other items for them to play with, and let their imagination do the rest.

At Little Angels Preschool and Daycare, we believe in using natural play to encourage kids to use their imaginations and create their own fun. If you want more information on our natural play philosophy, schedule a tour of our center! We are the trusted and preferred daycare in Ann Arbor, and would love to welcome you to our family! Contact us today!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Make a Small Greenhouse From Recyclable Materials

Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s likely that your garden is, too!

Kids can learn a lot from gardening – how plants grow, how to create healthy soil, which insects can hurt plants and which can help. Taking care of plants can teach responsibility and compassion, too!

Did you know that while you can buy plastic greenhouses for seeds at your local nursery, there is a more eco-friendly and cost-friendly way to grow seedlings at home? Starting seeds at home not only ensures that your child can watch plants grow right before his or her eyes, but it can also be better for the plants. Seedlings may be too fragile to be planted directly in the ground because they’re too exposed to the elements. Raising delicate plants like basil in your home allows you (and your child) to provide the extra care that they may need to thrive. A home greenhouse made from repurposed materials is a great way to make this happen!

How to Make Your Greenhouse

Supplies you’ll need are:

  • Toilet paper rolls 
  • Large plastic container with lid and air holes (a strawberry container works great for this use)
  • Seed raising mix

The basic steps:

  • Cut your toilet rolls in half or in thirds – you want to be able to close the lid with the rolls inside, so cutting them into smaller sections will allow you the space you need and still give the seeds room to grow.
  • Fill your container with the toilet paper rolls, and then distribute your seed raising mix in an even layer across the entire bottom (filling the rolls and the space between them). 
  • Carefully add your seeds and gently water them. 
  • Close the lid.


The toilet paper rolls will form tiny containers that you can eventually plant in your garden without disturbing the roots when the plants are big enough to survive outside. These tiny planters are easy for little hands to hold. This activity will allow your child to have some hands-on fun this summer and get a little dirty!

For more fun activities, check out the other posts on our blog and our website! At Little Angels Preschool and Daycare, we believe that letting kids play in nature is great for their imagination and teaches them a lot about the world around them. As the trusted and preferred daycare in Ann Arbor, we love spending time outdoors with the kids who are part of our Little Angels family! If you want to find out more about our natural play philosophy, please call us today or visit our website!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

5 Values You Should Teach Your Child By Age 5

As a parent of young children, you know that there are important values your kids need to learn for them to make friends, do well in school, and grow up.

When your kids are younger, they soak up everything they see and hear! The earlier you start teaching good values, the more likely they’ll internalize those values and apply them throughout their lives.

Here are five values that you may want your child to learn by his or her fifth birthday:


  1. Love – Always be generous with your affection. When your son or daughter sees you showing love to family members and friends, he or she will feel more comfortable expressing affection. 
  2. Consideration – Teach your kids to think about others’ feelings! Over time, a young child can see that treating peers nicely and being friendly can ensure that his or her peers will be nice in return. Remember the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated!
  3. Determination – Encourage your kids to take on a challenge! The easiest way to encourage determination according to Parents.com is “avoiding excessive praise and by providing children with honest feedback, delivered in a gentle, supportive fashion.” Make sure to congratulate your kids when they do something that is difficult for them, such as making friends when they’re shy, or completing a homework assignment that they’ve struggled with in the past.
  4. Honesty – Help your kids find a way to tell the truth! The easiest way to encourage them to be truthful is to make sure that you’re truthful as well. Another way is to make sure you don’t overreact to small white lies. Encourage children to be honest by assuring them that you won’t yell and that they won’t be in trouble if they tell the truth the first time. 
  5. Justice – Teach your kids to say ‘I’m sorry’ and make amends! Teaching your children to apologize after they do something wrong will help to instill the concepts of right and wrong, and help them think about how their actions affect people around them.


We think there’s a good chance that kids who learn these values will have an easier time socializing, making friends in school, and interaction with adults. Learning these values and life lessons early on will also give your children a foundation they can build on as they grow into mature, happy, kind-hearted people!

As the trusted and preferred daycare in Ann Arbor, we provide a positive learning environment for kids all over Washtenaw County. If you want more information about our facility or our teaching style, please visit our website!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Discovery Bottles For Your Favorite Bedtime Story!

Does your child just LOVE a great story? They may love it even more brought to life in a discovery bottle!
 

Discovery bottles are an easy activity to go along with a story to make it more fun. We found this awesome activity on TeachPreschool.org.
Example provided by TeachPreschool.org


Materials:
Well it depends on which story you choose. But, it’s recommended that you use a Voss plastic water bottle, water, baby oil, and a drop of dish soap, and/or food color. Depending on the story you can put things in it that relate back to the story’s theme.
 

Directions:
While you read a story to your child have them look at the discovery bottle and describe what they see. You can also display the bottle with the book in their room.
 

For discovery bottle examples visit TeachPreschool.org for more information!
 

This activity lays down the building blocks needed for reading and comprehension development. This discovery bottle activity helps develop your child’s cognitive senses for memory, reading and analyzing. If you try this activity at home, please share pictures of your discovery bottles in the comment section below. We’d love to see the kind of fun you had while putting these discovery bottles together!

Little Angels Preschool in the Ann Arbor area has been serving Saline, Ypsilanti, Milan, Pittsfield Township, and the surrounding areas for more than 20 years. Your child will gain positive self-esteem, confidence and a healthy sense of value through Experienced Based Learning at our daycare center. Call (734) 998-0233 to schedule a tour!