How to Build Your Child’s Attention Span

Have you ever wondered if your child’s attention span is too short… or could be longer?

Do you ever wish your child would just STOP and PAY ATTENTION to something for more than a few seconds? Children are naturally curious and their investigation of the world around them often takes the form of short bursts of focus with frequent change and interruption.

Just like with adults, children vary in their ability to focus without being distracted.

However, expert research tells us that there are some ways you can help your child grow in their ability to concentrate.


  1. Limit stimulation

As adults, we have carefully curated the ability to “tune out” many stimuli, such as background noise/conversation, music, people or objects moving across our field of vision. As young and new beings, however, our children are finely tuned IN to these stimuli, as they seek to learn as much as they can about the way the world works. Pay attention to the number of things that could be grabbing your child’s attention at any given moment, and create a space in your life and home where your child has the opportunity to give a task or experience undivided attention.

2. Limit objects

Tactile and sensory stimulation are some of the first ways your young child experiences the world. We are encouraged as new parents to create a warm and stimulating environment, which is true and good. However, as your child begins to perceive more details about the world around them, the amount of “choices” they have (toys, objects, activities) can divert them from dedicated attention to any one item. Provide simple, numbered choices and remove unchosen items from view while you learn and play with one thing at a time.

3. Let an activity finish

In the hustle and bustle of “what we have to do next,” we often shorten our young child’s engagement in a desired activity. Sometimes we DO have to leave the park NOW… but sometimes we don’t. Try, at least once a week, to enjoy an activity that your child sets the time frame for. Let them continue their play until they elect to do something different. You may be surprised at how long they’ll last!

Love our expert advice and want us to partner with you as your child grows? Find a Creative World School near you to Enroll Today!

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Family Reading: Folktales for Young Children

In our Storybook adventures in the Exploratorium™ this month, we are diving into Folktales!

family reading time folktales.jpg

Folktales are a great addition to your family reading time.

Folktales are powerful because they feature themes that challenge us: good versus evil, right versus wrong, light versus dark. This, coupled with masterful storytelling, captures a young child’s imagination.

Lisa Lunge-Larsen, author of The Troll With No Heart in His Body, has listed some of the most powerful and inspirational lessons young children can extract from folklore:

  • Remember who you are.
  • Be true to your own nature.
  • Follow your dreams.
  • Every action has consequences, so be attentive, be kind, and always do what is right.
  • Life is a journey; nobody else can do the journey for you.
  • Your journey will unfold according to a pattern. The pattern is a guide.
  • Use your gifts.
  • Help will be offered when you most need it and least expect it.
  • Despite the odds, good will triumph over evil, love over hatred.
  • Don’t ever give up.
  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • Things are not always as they appear.
  • Everything you need can be found inside yourself; it is always there.
  • Miracles happen.
  • There is magic in the world.

HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE? Storytelling is an ancient way to preserve the legacy or a character or narrative. It can be incredibly powerful to investigate the folktales related to your family’s culture. At Creative World this month, Exploratorium™ teachers will be sharing folktales from a wide variety of cultures… and we want your input! What folktales did you grow up hearing? Are their family stories that comprise your family’s own “folklore” that you could come and share with us? Are there any special books or tales that you can read to us? We want to hear everyone’s unique voice as we dive into this literary focus!


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Fine Motor Skills in Young Children

Fine motor skills are a vital developmental milestone for young children.

What are they?

Fine motor skills are the development and coordination of small muscles, usually in the hands and fingers.

When do they start?

From a baby’s first “grasp” of an item to a toddler’s careful “pincer” grasp, fine motor skills are in constant development from your child’s earliest days.

Why do they matter?

We often think of fine motor skills as a necessary precursor to writing, which is true, but think of all of the other life skills that require a careful manipulation of your hands and fingers:

Typing (or tapping), drinking from a cup, pouring, holding small objects (like your car keys), using tools like a screwdriver or scissors, carrying thin objects (like a book or iPad), plugging in a phone charger, pushing buttons, opening drawers, buttoning or zipping up clothing, opening a doorknob….

In other words, it would literally be incapacitating to not have fine motor skills!

At Creative World Schools, we help children grow in their fine motor skills by real, hands-on learning all day long!



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In the Trees Classroom Inquiry

Tree_Icon.jpgOctober is all about Trees at Creative World Schools.

From Infants to Preschoolers, we are leaving the classroom and getting into nature to explore what trees are, how they grow, and what they provide us.

Outdoor learning and learning about nature has great value for young children. According to the Natural Learning Initiative,

“Childcare center naturalized outdoor learning environments (OLEs) stimulate the diversity of children’s play experience and contribute to their healthy development. Best practice design of OLEs incorporates trees, shrubs, vines, flowers, grasses, edible fruits and vegetables—to connect children with nature and diversify their outdoor experience.*”


Here are some of the basic concepts we’re learning about**:

  • A tree is a large plant.
  • There are many kinds of trees including hardwoods and softwoods.
  • A tree has many parts; leaves, branches, bark, trunk, and roots.
  • The leaves on some trees are like needles.
  • The trunk is the stem of the tree and is covered with bark.
  • The roots of a tree are underground.
  • Roots help the tree stand; they also get water and nutrients from soil.
  • Sap is a liquid that supplies food to the tree.
  • Trees need soil, water, and sunlight to grow.
  • Trees provide us with wood.
  • Many items are made from wood, such as houses, chairs, tables, some toys, doors, fences, paper and paper products.
  • Some fruit grows on trees.
  • Apples, bananas, and oranges are examples of fruit that grow on trees.
  • Trees provide homes for many animals.
  • Trees provide us with shade to keep us cool and protect us from sun

Check back to follow our progress all month long or find a Creative World School near you to get involved in this awesome arboreal adventure!


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Storybook Costume Ideas

Many preschools and childcare centers are now holding Storybook Dress-Up Days, in lieu of scarier options this time of year.

We LOVE featuring Storybook Tales all month long in our Exploratorium™, and all of our classes get in on the character fun by dressing up for our Storybook Parade and other themed events.


Here are some great and easy storybook characters to create costumes for:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Wizard of Oz (Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tinman)
  • The Jungle Book (Mowgli, a snake, a panther, a wolf, a tiger)
  • Mouse, Pig, Cat, or Puppy from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and others in the Laura Numeroff series
  • Winnie the Pooh (or one of the other characters from A.A. Milne)
  • Peter Pan/Captain Hook
  • Robin Hood
  • A monkey (like Curious George)
  • Snow White
  • An elephant (Babar)
  • A brown bear (Paddington)
  • Madeline
  • A white mouse (Stuart Little)

The best idea is to springboard off of your child’s favorite book!

Here are some ideas for our ingenious parents from last year’s festivities:

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Look like a blast? We love to dream big, encourage reading, and imagine ourselves as our favorite characters. Come celebrate with us!

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Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes

Feeling the urge to grab more than a PSL?

Get in the kitchen with your little ones and try out some of these sweet and savory recipes kid-friendly pumpkin recipes!

pumpkin-polenta-cheese-friesCheesy Pumpkin Fries

Ingredients/supplies: Pumpkins, knife (for adult use), cookie sheet, parchment paper, oil, parmesan cheese, seasonings.

Preheat your oven to 425*F. Slice your pumpkin into wedges or strips. Invite your child to help you toss the strips in oil and place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Make your seasoning selections! For savory cheesy flavors, we recommend salt, white pepper, and garlic powder. Top with parmesan cheese and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.


Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients/supplies: pumpkin pie filling, graham crackers, butter, gallon-sized ziploc bag, cinnamon, whipped cream, large bowl, 8″ glass baking dish.

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Break 2 sleeves of graham crackers into your ziploc bag (and here’s the best part) let your children smack, smash, and crush until you have a chunky “flour.” Mix with 1 stick of melted butter and spread on the bottom of your baking dish. Add a 29 oz. (or similar size) can of pumpkin pie filling to the top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cook for 30 minutes. Cut in bars and top with whipped cream.


Pumpkin Milkshakes

Ingredients/supplies: Vanilla ice cream, pumpkin pie filling, milk, blender

Combine 3/4 cup of pumpkin pie filling, 2 cups of vanilla ice cream, and 1-1 & 1/2 cups of milk in a blender. Add a dash of vanilla extract or cinnamon if desired. Pour into cups and enjoy an icy  pumpkin treat!

Want to experience some of the Cool Cooking our students get to enjoy each week? Join a Creative World School near you, where we get culinary every Friday in the Exploratorium™! Also, check out our Cool Cooking board on Pinterest for more ideas like these.



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Classic Children’s Literature in our Preschool Classes

Our preschool and pre-k classrooms are celebrating the characters in classic children’s books and folktales with our Storybook Adventures this month!

In our literary adventures, we are featuring folktales and classic legends to learn more about how stories work with heroes, villains, and life lessons. We agree with L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of OZ) when he wrote that

Folktales, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood throughout the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous, and manifestly unreal.

Join us as our fancies take flight and we explore some classic folktales and stories. We will use our literature focus as a springboard for Storybook Dramatic Play and a Storybook Parade!

All parents are invited to jump into your child’s classroom by sharing some of YOUR favorite stories… and joining our Storybook Parade and other events all month long.

Check in with your child’s school (or find a Creative World near you!) to learn more about the family events happening this month.

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Filed under CW Celebrates, Literacy

Fall Family Fun

Fall is here! And this is a great season for fun with the whole family. Here are some great, family-friendly ideas for quality time and autumn-centered activities:

pumpkin-painting27Pumpkin Painting – especially great for pumpkin decorating fun with young ones who can’t handle the tools yet. Have a family contest! mini-apple-pie.jpgBake with Apples – getting in the kitchen is a great way to reinforce healthy eating… if you can, trace your culinary journey all the way back to its source with some apple picking! Make apple pie (or these mini graham-cracker apple pie bites), apple sauce, or caramel apples. hs-leaf-hunt-5.jpgGo on a Leaf Hunt – see who can find the most colors of leaves, the most variety, or the crunchiest! Build a leaf pile and jump in. Make the most of the cooling weather and great outdoors. Leaf Crafts – Use the leaves you found and collected to make leaf rubbings, trace leaves, tape a leaf down and color the surrounding space (remove to reveal the negative), and even make a leaf collage.

Family Fall Festivals

Fall festivals are a great way to have your cider, do a cornmaze, take a hayride, and buy your pumpkins. Find the great, local festival near you and look into what else is going on your community that you can take part in (like our Creative World School Fall Festivals, at various locations).


Check out our Fall Family Fun Pinterest Board for more ideas.

Most importantly, make great memories! Happy Fall!

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Accredited Childcare: Why it Matters

We say it all of the time… we are more than a daycare! Our Early Education schools serve infants, toddlers, twos, preschoolers, prek, and school age students, with every class accommodating their unique developmental needs and facilitating outstanding learning.

According to the recently published New America Care Report,

Nationally, only 11 percent of child care establishments are accredited by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child or the National Association for Family Child Care.*


Creative World Schools are accredited by the largest accrediting body in the US, AdvancED Accreditation. Our system accreditation sets us apart in our policies and procedures, educational standards, and leadership excellence.

All Creative World Schools are required to earn and maintain Accreditation. This assures you, as a parent, of several important things:

  • Consistency in adhering to best practices and state laws
  • Directors and teachers must maintain certifications and qualifications
  • Health and Safety standards are above and beyond state standards and regularly assessed for effectiveness
  • Instructional design and educational models are cutting-edge and approved by the leading experts in our field

Ultimately, your child’s participation in our programs means that they will be lovingly cared for in a healthy environment and given all of the social and academic benefits they need to succeed!

You want the best for your child. If you are not yet enrolled, visit the Creative World School nearest you today to secure your spot in our world class programs!

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Raising Charitable Children

As fall approaches, many opportunities to “give” as a family will arise. This provides a great opportunity to reflect on an important element of our parenting:

Are we raising thoughtful, charity-minded children?



This kind of attitude begins young. A couple of years ago, an article in the New York Times called Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others sparked a lot of conversation. Then, the popular “don’t teach your kids to share” movement began and left a lot of us wondering: where is the balance?

Here are some guidelines:

  • Start with age-appropriate exposure.

Your 2 year old doesn’t understand much about sharing and your 4 year old probably doesn’t need to see vivid depictions of the refugee crisis. Where does need exist around your children in their own contexts?

  • Keep it real: what effects their world?

The distance of world events or issues may be too abstract for a young child to grasp. What causes do they care about and have access to? Animal advocacy/care? Local backpack giveaways? Seasonal, regional giving? Let them have some choice over the causes they participate in and it will create a personal connection.

  • Swap donations for experiences.

Giving is great and helps ease the burden of materialism our fortunate children enjoy. However, bridging the gap between their fortune and someone else’s misfortune can often be most vividly exemplified in real experiences. When children are old enough, can they help visit a retirement community or soup kitchen? What experiences could you have as a family to reinforce an others-mindedness?

  • Model it!

Simplifying your possessions and building charitable or philanthropic experiences into the normal rhythm of your family life will help your child see that such efforts are not “once in a while” but relate to their lives!

A great first try could be to follow Carol Weisman’s prompt (author of Raising Charitable Children): “Do something for someone else, draw a picture of what you did, and then tell me the story. ” 

Kick start your family’s charity efforts by participating in Pink Out Day at your local Creative World School… in support of breast cancer research!


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