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.

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!