Do Toddlers Really Need Structured Exercise and Workouts?

You may be wondering why anyone would think of exercises for toddlers. After all, aren’t they already super-active? You the answer ...
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Children and Sleep: What You Should Know About Your Child’s Rest Needs

All parents want their children to get the right amount and best quality of sleep. The obvious question for you ...
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Here’s What You Should Know About Temper Tantrums

Every parent dreads the moment when their child throws a temper tantrum. It can be quite distressing for both you ...
Read More

The Benefits of Play-Based Learning For Your Preschooler

Time flies and kids grow fast, which is why you need to ensure your child’s early years will benefit them for ...
Read More

Do Toddlers Really Need Structured Exercise and Workouts?

You may be wondering why anyone would think of exercises for toddlers. After all, aren’t they already super-active? You the answer to that is a big “YES” from trying to keep up with them every day. What we’re talking about here, however, is being more deliberate about your toddler’s activity. The goal is to instill in your child a lifetime appreciation for exercise to maintain health and avoid weight issues as they grow. This is especially important for children from families predisposed to obesity. Starting early can break this cycle for your child.

Let take a closer look at the importance of structured exercise for toddlers. The following post is a good place to start the discussion:

How Important is Exercise for Toddlers?

Most parents and can barely keep up with little ones when it comes to activity and energy. They are always running, jumping and moving around.

We may think that toddlers get more than enough exercise.

However, obesity among the ages of 6 -10 is on the rise and reports show the physical activity that your toddler engages in can have a drastic impact on their health as they mature into adulthood.

Parents need to be involved and help organize daily fitness even for young children.

How much time do physicians recommend?

Which activities should parents participate in? Read more at Sitter.com…

Both structured and unstructured exercise schedules are recommended for children to ensure they are physically fit. In addition, physical exercise at an early age will contribute to healthy growth as well as increased cognitive development and social skills.

One of the keys to making structured exercise a regular part of your child’s life is keeping it fun and varied. For instance, get outside your home when you can. Workout in the park, at the beach or at a gym facility. The following post highlights one special gym that caters to children between the ages of six weeks(!) and eight years:

Nutrition and exercise tips to keep toddlers from becoming overweight, obese

It’s a toddler’s dream come true. A room filled with trampolines, forts and ball pits and nothing is off limits to them.

“It’s really designed to engage them and keep their attention in short spans,” said Christin Schifflett, the owner of MyGym.

Schifflett owns three MyGyms in Crofton, Annapolis and Columbia. The gym is designed just for kids, from as young as six weeks old to the age of eight.

“We’ll work on balance, tumbling, agility, hanging, and upper body strength. We do a lot of core development,” Schifflett said.

Apart from physical exercise, you should also devote time to mental exercises for your child. This will enhance their cognitive development and ability to retain memories. Learn more in the following post:

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Memory game for children

Helping Young Children Develop a Stronger Memory

As young minds expand, they tend to remember some things and forget others. The small-sized brains of babies may fail to retain vital things that are crucial for their overall development. These simple exercises to increase memory power will make them remember better.

When was the first time you touched a balloon? What was the shape of your first birthday cake? Rack your brains as hard as you can, but pretty sure you’ll land a zero recall. The same rings true for your little one too. Memories are crucial when your child’s mind is expanding and exploring; they serve as building blocks for his development. Here are some research-backed strategies to help him along this path.

As you’ve seen, it’s important to have a deliberate plan to ensure your child grows up healthy and strong — both physically and mentally. This is best facilitated by accessing people and programs that can help, which includes enrolling your child in an outstanding preschool.

At Spanish for fun!, we are committed to providing your child an environment that fosters holistic growth. Our play-based teaching method has a natural activity component that meets the exercise goals discussed in this post as well as advancing social and cognitive abilities.

Our Spanish immersion program also gives your child the lifetime benefit of being bilingual. Your child will love Spanish for fun! Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour of our Spanish for Fun! Wakeforest Campus. We would be delighted to show you our facility and our time-proven teaching methods. Call 919-881-1160 or complete the form on our website. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Children and Sleep: What You Should Know About Your Child’s Rest Needs

All parents want their children to get the right amount and best quality of sleep. The obvious question for you is: What is the right amount and how do I help to facilitate it? This post will help answer your questions.

The first thing to note is that your child’s sleeping needs will vary with his or her age. Newborns may not have a regular sleeping pattern, but there are things you should expect over time and ways to enhance your child’s sleep cycle. The following post is a helpful place to start:

From Newborn to Preschooler, 6 Expert Strategies for Sleep Success

Some of our constant concerns when it comes to our kids is sleep: Are they getting enough? How is the quality of his sleep? How do you establish a bedtime routine that will stick?

These were just some of the questions asked of Dr. Agnes Tirona-Remulla, head of the Sleep Lab at Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa. Dr. Tirona Remulla was the featured speaker at the launch of Johnson’s Bedtime range that includes baby bath, baby oil, baby powder and baby lotion (this range is now infused with essences of Jasmine Blossoms designed to calm baby for sleep, according to Johnson’s).

In her talk, Dr. Tirona-Remulla provided practical tips to improve the quality of sleep, from newborn to preschooler. Read more at Smart Parenting…

Establishing a sleeping routine is something you will want to want to do. Keep in mind that the earlier you start, the better it will be for both you and your child.

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For preschoolers, it is important that they go to sleep early. They require additional hours of rest because their bodies are growing at a very fast pace. Not only is sleep essential for physical growth, it also has additional health benefits, as discussed in the post below:

Early bedtimes for preschoolers linked to lower obesity risk

Getting young children into bed before 8 p.m. might reduce the risk of being obese in later life, suggests new research published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

According to researchers from The Ohio State University College of Public Health, putting preschoolers to bed later in the evening, especially after 9 p.m., is linked to a higher risk of becoming obese.

To assess the effect of varying bedtimes, the team looked at data from 977 preschoolers who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a project that followed healthy babies born at 10 different U.S. sites in 1991. Read more at CTV News…

Now you know: If you want your children to have a healthy body mass index (BMI), one of the things you should do is make sure they get enough sleep. Obesity comes with many risks, so if putting your children to bed early will help prevent it, do it.

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Some late evening activities may hinder your child from getting quality sleep once they go to bed. The following post describes some of the activities you should monitor and help your child avoid:

Bedtime media device use linked to poor sleep quality among children

Portable media devices, such as cell phones and tablets, are ever present in children’s lives, and the majority of children and adolescents have devices present where they sleep. So does access to and use of these devices cut into the quantity and quality of their sleep? A new article published online by JAMA Pediatrics suggests they do.

Sleep is crucial for children for healthy physical and psychological development.

Ben Carter, Ph.D., M.Sc., of King’s College London, and coauthors reviewed medical literature for an analysis that included randomized clinical trials and other study designs. They assessed 20 studies – involving 125,198 children with an average age of 14.5 years – for methodological quality and included 17, with 11 studies included in the meta-analysis.

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The fact that sleep is essential for your child is not in doubt. As such, it is important to develop a good bedtime routine. If your child is in preschool, it’s even more important since an early morning is probably part of their daily routine.

At Spanish for fun!, we are committed to giving your child a holistic preschool experience that supports their development in all ways. We employ a fun, play-based approach to learning within our Spanish immersion program. Your child will be happy to share about his or her day every day.

We encourage you to schedule a tour of our Daycare Center in Wake Forest NC Campus to learn more about our unique daycare experience. Call 919-881-1695 or complete the form on our website. We look forward to showing you why your child will thrive with us.

Here’s What You Should Know About Temper Tantrums

Every parent dreads the moment when their child throws a temper tantrum. It can be quite distressing for both you and your little one. It particularly seems like a nightmare when you’re out in public and it feels like everyone is judging your parenting skills. Don’t get caught up in that thinking — it won’t help any. When it comes to dealing with tantrums, knowing what they are and being prepared with multiple responses when they occur is your best bet.

The first thing to understand about temper tantrums is that they are perfectly normal. Don’t let parenting guilt lead you to assume it’s your fault. The following post from one of the leading healthcare systems in America explains the basics:

Temper Tantrums

What are temper tantrums?

Temper tantrums are a way a young child lets out strong emotions before he or she is able to express them in socially acceptable ways. Although a child may seem totally out of control, these fits of rage, stomping, screaming, and throwing himself or herself to the floor are a normal part of childhood development. Temper tantrums often happen only with a parent. They are a way a child communicates his or her feelings. Parents can learn from their child by understanding the situation that caused the temper tantrum to erupt.

Temper tantrums often begin at about 1 year of age and continue until age 2 to 3. They begin to diminish as a child becomes more able to communicate his or her wants and needs.

The fact that your child melts down only when they are with you can be quite distressing. It can even make you doubt your abilities as a parent. However, as the experts note, this is a typical component of tantrum behavior so don’t let it undermine your confidence.

 

Some fathers feel like dealing with a tantrum is beyond their skill level, but of course it isn’t. It just takes patience, knowledge and the right approach. Here’s some good information and advice from a dad’s perspective, courtesy of Fatherly:

Meltdown Mechanics

It turns out that a tantrum doesn’t just explode in red-faced anger and dwindle (seemingly an infinity later) into gulping sadness. Researchers who recently looked into the anatomy of a tantrum discovered that conventional understanding was flawed. A tantrum is actually a bit more complex. Sadness persists throughout with punctuations of angry behavior.

That anger? Not easy to deal with. The sadness, though, can be tackled with kindness. Which gives you a hint as to what you might want to be doing. No. Not tackling.

Why Tantrums Happen

Your kid might turn into a real life Munch painting for literally any reason under the sun. But there are a couple of things that might prime the pump. The biggies? Sudden, unexpected schedule changes, parental stress, and not knowing your expectations for the situation. Read more at Fatherly…

It helps when you understand that tantrums are not calculated — they are triggered. This helps clarify two key points: 1) Your child isn’t actively plotting to ruin your day when they meltdown; and 2) To some extent, tantrums can be avoided or managed.

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Okay, now that we’ve taken a detailed look at what temper tantrums are, let’s move on to the part you’ve been waiting for: How should you respond when a tantrum occurs? The following post offers some great tips on ways you can take control of the situation and not lose your cool:

11 Ways to Stop Temper Tantrums in Their Tracks

Identify the trigger

Global parenting expert, Jo Frost explains that there are about eight to 10 common triggers that set most toddlers off on a tantrum, including under/over stimulation, being tired, blood sugar levels, craving independence, fear/anxiety, sensitivity, wanting to get their own way, being forced to share, and “just because.” Once you figure out what your child’s trigger is, it’s easier to try to talk to your child and to be prepared when entering situations where they might arise (i.e. toy store, restaurant, etc.). Read more at Readers Digest…

The best way to handle temper tantrums is to make them a learning experience for both you and your child. Remember that they can be opportunities to understand your child better and grow as a parent.

The transition from staying at home to beginning preschool can feel overwhelming for some children. As you’ve read, anxiety and major schedule changes are common triggers for tantrums. Prepare for the possibility of a fit when the time comes. If you’ve chosen a great program, you can take comfort in knowing that your child’s needs will be met in a loving and playful environment that will quickly reset their emotions.

Spanish for fun! is committed to giving your child a learning experience that they will love and look forward to each day. In our Spanish immersion preschool at Wake Forest NC, your child will receive the emotional benefits of being in a nurturing environment along with the educational benefits of learning a second language.

The Benefits of Play-Based Learning For Your Preschooler

Time flies and kids grow fast, which is why you need to ensure your child’s early years will benefit them for a lifetime. To help with this, you need to get acquainted with the best methods for promoting cognitive development and social skills.

Play-based learning has been found to be a very successful method of guiding preschoolers toward healthy growth. Play is completely natural to them so they respond in a positive way to this method. Lots of research has been done on the subject, and the findings prove that play-based education is important, both at home and at school. The following post describes what one company found about play-based learning:

Lego’s research into play based learning

It may be a company with commercial interests but can Lego change the way we approach early education in this country?

There was a very interesting piece in the press lately about the concerns the Lego Foundation have over the neglect of play-based learning. They are funding a research project to investigate its effect.

Play based learning helps develop valuable skills like creativity, hand-eye coordination and problem solving, all needed for the development of literacy and numeracy as well as other skills. Yet because of the structure and formal pursuit of these academic subjects play opportunities are abandoned far too early, they suggest.

Pedal (the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning at Cambridge University) would back up their view. Read more at Tutor Hub…

As explained, play-based learning helps develop a host of skills in children that span both formal and informal educational settings. The paradox is that this method is being left out of preschoolers’ curriculum with increasing frequency. This is a mistake.

When we delve into play-based learning further, we find that different play activities affect different aspects of childhood development. For instance, the following post describes some activities that increase your child’s potential to learn:

4 Play-Based Activities that Increase Your Child’s Learning Potential

There are few relationships in the world more natural than the relationship between children and play. Especially during infancy, toddlerhood and preschool, playtime provides much more than simple entertainment. Young children are inherently curious and imaginative, and creative play is how they explore and learn about the world around them. Parents and caregivers can help facilitate play-based learning by tapping into this process.

Play to Learn

Little ones’ rapidly developing brains turn the ordinary into extraordinary during playtime. Play, especially make-believe or pretend play, allows children to explore, imagine, create and interact with others. Pretend play promotes cognitive, language, physical, social and emotional development in children, helping to build a strong foundation for future learning. Read more at Primerose Schools…

While the benefits of play-based learning are varied and significant, it’s important to realize that not all play is equally beneficial for promoting learning. In fact, some toys may prove counter-productive if they don’t encourage children to think on their own. The following post takes a closer look at good and bad toys for encouraging play-based learning:

Bad Toys and Best Strategies for Promoting Play-Based Learning

Anything that requires batteries or buttons to get its play-value is not a good toy. While brands such as LeapFrog and Vtech have educational content programmed into their toys, these toys aren’t great for early childhood learning.

Often these toys are marketed as “developmental” because the toy has so many different functions. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite effect for the child. The more a toy does, the less your child has to do. If your child can sit and watch the toy “perform,” then it is likely more entertaining than educational… In short, the most useful toys are those that require the most action on the part of a young child. The more children have to use their minds and bodies to make something work, the more they learn.

With all this information, you should have a better idea for making playtime at home even more beneficial for your child. You should also be better prepared to find a preschool that will promote their learning and development. By every metric, Spanish for fun! is your best bet.

We combine the loving care that your child needs with Spanish language education, cultural learning and lots of fun activities. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour of our Wake Forest Daycare Center. Call 919-881-1695 or complete the contact form. We look forward to showing you why your child will thrive with us.

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