The WONDER in Early Education: The AHA Moments Everyday

Our childcare centers are full of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and School Age students who are learning, growing, and having AHA Moments everyday!

This past season, we have invited teachers and families to share some of these amazing moments. Take a sneak peek into some of the wonder we are seeing:

Check out more of our #TheAhaMoments on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Not enrolled in a Creative World School? Find a World of Wonder near you!

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Filed under CW Educational Focus, Early Education, Education

Wordless Books to Read to Children

Each month in our Exploratorium™, we feature a different genre of Children’s Literature. For the month of September, we have been investigating Wordless Books!

WHAT ARE WORDLESS BOOKS?

Wordless books are picture books that tell a story through images alone, without using words.

WHY ARE WORDLESS BOOKS IMPORTANT?

Wordless books inspire pre-readers to supply their own narration of a story. In tying images to language, their understanding of alphabetic representations is enhanced. Their creativity can take center stage as they create a story all their own!

Here are some of the books we’re featuring… Check them out!

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This Month’s Inquiry Learning: Stages of Self-Awareness in Young Children

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This month at Creative World School, we are exploring all of the wonderful, amazing, beautiful things that make us unique!

Teaching your child self-awareness promotes empathy and kindness as well as a high self-esteem.

dsc_1119Psychologists typically agree that there are 5 stages of self-awareness from 0-4 years of age:*

Level 1 – Differentiation

A baby who is beginning to interact: to acknowledge her reflection, mimic adult behavior, is showing initial stages of self-awareness.

Level 2 – Situation

When your baby begins catching his eye in the mirror, a new stage of self-awareness is blossoming in which he sees and begins to understand: that is a distinct person.

Level 3 – Identification

The next stage is when your toddler begins to realize, that distinct person is ME.

Level 4 – Permanence

The understanding of self moves beyond a mirror image or picture: a child in this phase begins to understand themselves as an entity outside of spatial or temporal boundaries (that’s a picture of me as a BABY, but it is still ME).

Level 5 – Self-consciousness

This is the most abstract phase your young child will experience and it includes the ability to understand not only a sense of self but self as it is perceived by others. Accompanying emotions can be embarrassment, pride, or self-consciousness.

To understand these developmental phases is to gain a better insight into how to encourage your child with positive understandings of who they are through affirmation, affection, and positive language.

Drop by your Creative World School to see how we’re empowering children all month long to understand and value their amazing selves!

*http://www.psychology.emory.edu/cognition/rochat/Rochat5levels.pdf

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Combat Nature Deficit Disorder: Play Outside More

Whether you are an adult or a child, in an office or a school, it’s likely that the majority of your day is spent indoors. Some research suggests that this leads to something popularly termed, “Nature Deficit Disorder.”

It turns out that our children are spending about half as much time outdoors as we did.*

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We all know that outdoor play is important! So, how much time should your child (or you!) spend outside each day?

Experts have some recommendations:

  • The Centers for Disease Control advises parents to encourage their children to have an hour per day of moderate physical activity to burn calories, tone the muscles and keep their weight under control.  Outdoor play time is ideal for this.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get enough exercise and also have an hour per day to unwind, relax and have some simple creative play time.  Our kids are busy these days and getting some time for simple creative play is good for their growth, mental health and social development.  What better way is there to reach this goal then to engage in outdoor play?
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois have determined that 30 minutes of time in a park setting will help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be able to concentrate in the classroom and act more calmly and with more focus at home.  Outdoor time in natural settings is not a cure for ADHD but it is good to know that there is some simple help for a problem affecting the lives of millions of U.S. children.
  • The Mayo Clinic recognizes how hard it is to find larger blocks of free time and recommends that children (and adults) who are unable to find 30 minutes to an hour of daily time for physical activity try to find some 10 minute “chunks” during the day to be active.
  • American school officials recognize that it is best for children to have 30 minutes per day of recess time and new findings indicate there are real benefits in concentration, nutrition and academics by having recess time prior to lunch.   We suggest making those schoolyards greener with trees, vegetation, and school gardens including NWF schoolyard wildlife habitats.
  • The National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There Campaign recognizes how important it is for children to stay connected to nature and to have an appreciation for outdoor conservation and recommends that parents aim for a daily “Green Hour” of outdoor activity in natural settings even if they are in a backyard, a schoolyard, or a tree-lined street.
  • Cornell University found that children who spend significant amounts of time immersed in nature and the outdoors such as camping, hiking, or other nature activities in their younger years are more inclined to be conservationists or at least be conservation-minded as adults.**

Bottom line: 30 to 60 minutes of outdoor play time per day but even 10 minute “chunks” are a good idea.

Legendary outdoorsman John Muir said that when you are outdoors, “Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

*https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/27/children-spend-only-half-the-time-playing-outside-as-their-parents-did

**http://blog.nwf.org/2010/11/how-much-outdoor-play-time-does-your-child-need-what-the-experts-say/

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Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama Books

Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Anna Dewdney’s family and friends at her passing. Our classrooms all enjoy her amazing children’s books everyday!

Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama books animate some amazingly common childhood scenarios. From being scared at night to being impatient in a grocery store, her masterful rhyming stories give children a fun way to explore some not-so-fun feelings.

Now is a great time to remember and honor Anna’s wish that “in lieu of a funeral service that people read to a child instead.”

“I did my books about llamas because I love the sound to the word ‘llama.’ But they’re just so funny,” she told The Washington Post’s Ron Charles in 2015. “They have such wonderful expressive faces. They’re fuzzy and goofy, and they’re just fun to look at.”*

 

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/09/06/this-beloved-childrens-author-didnt-want-a-funeral-she-said-read-to-a-child-instead/

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Happy Labor Day to our Hard-Working Parents

Our young students are grateful for their working parents!

As Childcare Centers and Early Education Schools, we want to say on behalf of all of the littles entrusted to our care: Thanks, Mom and Dad (and Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles…) for working so hard!

You inspire us to grow up and be hard workers someday.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor,

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Enjoy a great, safe weekend celebrating with family and friends all of the ways you make our country strong and prosperous!

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Exploring the 5 Senses with Children

This month kicks off our “That’s Me!” inquiry. One of the ways we are exploring our amazing selves is by exploring our Five Senses.

Here are some questions we’re going to ask our students to begin thinking about how we experience the world around us:

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TOUCH – what do we feel?child touching five senses

Keywords to introduce: Smooth, Rough, Bumpy, Soft

Let’s talk texture… can we learn a word in braille? Can we tell what an object is using only our hands? Let’s work on vocabulary: what’s the difference between the way a kitty cat and a tire feel?

SMELL – how does that smell?

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Keywords to introduce: nose, sniff, good/bad

The nose knows! Let’s play with cotton balls soaked in common scents: can we differentiate between orange and cinnamon? How does smell effect our other senses, like taste?

SIGHT – what do we see?

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Keywords to introduce: eyes, light/dark

Let’s shift perspective and play with tubes, telescopes, magnifying glasses, microscopes, and kaleidoscopes. How does the way we see change the way we move? How important is it to see things correctly?

TASTE – what does that taste like?

child eating five senses taste

Keywords to introduce: Mouth, tongue

Yum or Yuck? We all have different tastes. But why? Let’s investigate the palette: what buds do we all share? Do things taste differently to different people? Let’s taste-test and compare our preferences!

SOUND – what do we hear?

child listening five senses ears hear

Keywords to introduce: Ears, loud/quiet

Listen close… what do you hear? From bold to white noise, the sounds around us help alert us to what is happening, where it is happening, and if we need to react. Let’s dive into the waves and drums that keep us on our toes!

 

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New Franchise Owner in Land O’Lakes, FL

We’re excited to welcome new franchise Owners, Suleman and Shahina Makhani, to our Creative World School in Land O’Lakes, FL!

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Suleman and Shahina Makhani

Here’s a little bit more about who they are:

Suleman and I are originally from India but have lived most of our lives in USA. We have lived in Tampa Bay area since 1994 and have been Florida residents for last 32 years. Our children, Samir and Sarah, attended early childhood school first in Temple Terrace and later in Northdale. They both attended Westchase elementary, Williams Magnet middle and Robinson IB high school before going to top universities. I have been actively involved in faith based schools as Vice Principal for three years and then as Principal for three years.

What is their educational and business background?

I graduated in India with degree in Business Admin before moving to USA. Suleman completed BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Computer Science from Florida International University in Miami. I have owned and managed franchise businesses for the last eight years. I was involved in the technology sector for twenty years prior to that. We strongly believe in community service and have been involved in various non-profit, charitable, and faith-based institutions for over 3 decades.

Why choose Creative World School?

We were looking to develop an early childhood educational business. We saw in Creative World School everything we were planning to have in our school and therefore we decided to buy a franchise of Creative World School.

What is your vision for influencing young children and their families?

It is a well known fact that a child’s brain develops mostly in first three to five years of his/her life. We want to offer the best in early childhood education in order to lay a strong foundation for the children who will attend our school.

We can’t wait to watch CWS Land O’Lakes grow under their excellent leadership! In the area but not enrolled? Get in touch with them today:

(813) 996-3100 – LOL@creativeworldschool.com

9511 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638

 

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The Arts in Education: STEAM Learning

STEAM learning in Early EducationSTEAM learning is the integrated approach which incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math into every day learning.

In a recent article in STEAM Magazine, NASA Scientist Dr. Carol Polanskey said that Art makes her a better Scientist. Dr. Polanskey is the Dawn Mission Science Operations Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Library. From portraying important information in graphic formats to a large-scale understanding of the universe, the Arts are of irreplaceable value no matter what field you are in!

Dr. Polanskey says that “I find that most scientists have some interest— deep interest—in either music or visual arts.”*

We are so glad that, in Early Education, we have the freedom to integrate Art into all other academic fields of study. Young children are especially captivated by images, colors, and hands-on art processes.

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that Art Experiences in the early years help children grow in many ways:

  • Fine motor skills. Grasping pencils, crayons, chalk and paintbrushes helps children develop their fine motor muscles. This development will help your child with writing, buttoning a coat and other tasks that require controlled movements.

  • Cognitive development. Art can help children learn and practice skills like patterning and cause and effect (i.e., “If I push very hard with a crayon the color is darker.”). They can also practice critical thinking skills by making a mental plan or picture of what they intend to create and following through on their plan.

  • Math skills. Children can learn, create and begin to understand concepts like size, shape, making comparisons, counting and spatial reasoning.

  • Language skills. As children describe and share their artwork, as well as their process, they develop language skills. You can encourage this development by actively listening and asking open-ended questions in return. It is also a great opportunity to learn new vocabulary words regarding their project (i.e., texture).

So, let them color and scribble and mold and create… Art matters!

Get some Art Process ideas for young learners on our Process Art Pinterest Board.

*http://diversityinsteam.com/steam-bites/why-the-a-in-steam-matters/
**http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/the_art_of_creating_why_art_is_important_for_early_childhood_development

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Away We Go Fun… Learning All About Things That Move!

All Creative World Schools are having a blast celebrating Away We Go this month. Check out some of the amazing ways our young learners are exploring:

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Several of our schools have hosted Trike-a-Thons to raise money for back-to-school supplies.

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Let’s talk tickets: bus tickets, train tickets, plane tickets… what do they look like and what can we learn?

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Our three year old classes took field trips… to the parking lot! Let’s climb on the bus!

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Our creative toddler teachers put tape on the ground and invited children to drive their trucks along the wavy, zig-zag, or curvy “roads”

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Let’s look at all of the different kinds of cars in our parking lots!

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Our schools in Illinois enjoyed some creative contests to make vehicles out of recyclables.

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Pop the hood and take a peek… what do you see?

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We journaled, scribbled, and drew as we observed.

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What are rear view mirrors for? We talked all about driving and safety!

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Our littlest learners read all kinds of books and made fun noises!

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Let’s make a train… together!

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More trike-a-thon fun with homemade backpacks to keep our notes as we explore.

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