Lakewood Childcare Center

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SOCIAL SKILLS AND EMOTIONS

While we have seen our re-opening as a positive, there may still be some emotional setbacks here and there and it’s good to have tools to help the children get through. The preschool classroom has been using Conscious Discipline tools for many years, and these are great tools to help a child work through any type of emotion: anger, sadness, worry, scared, and anxious.


Calm Down tips from Conscious Discipline

Preschooler’s emotions run high and low and there are times when they need some help controlling their sad and upset feelings. In the classroom we try to focus on a lot of breathing tips used from Conscious Discipline.


There are four different ways to breath we use:


Drain – Extend arms out, pretending your arms are faucets. Tighten arm, shoulder, and face muscles. Exhale slowly making a “sssshhhh” sound and release all your muscles, draining out the stress.


Pretzel – Standing up, cross your ankles. Now cross your right wrist over left, turn your hands so your thumbs are facing the floor, put palms together and interlace fingers. Bend your elbows out and gently turn your hands down and toward your body until they rest on the center of your chest. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Relax and breathe.


Balloon – Place your hands-on top of your head and interlace your fingers. Breathe in through your nose as you raise your arms, inflating an imaginary balloon. Release the air in the balloon by pursing your lips, exhaling slowly, lowering your arms, and making a “pbpbpbpbpbpb” sound.


S.T.A.R. – Smile, take a deep breath, And Relax. Encourage belly breathing where the tummy goes out when the air goes in, and in when the air goes out. Also help your child learn to exhale slower than normal.

SOCIAL SKILLSTREAMING

Writing is a good skill to get started in the early years and children get lots of exposure to it here in the classroom. It is also beneficial to allow your child to practice at home. One important part of your child practicing to write, is to let the child do the work independently. Often adults are quick to help and place their hand over a child’s to try to teach them how to write, this is more of a disadvantage to the child learning and building their writing skills.


Research shows that a child’s brain shuts down the instant an adult places a hand over the child’s to assist. Some children find it uncomfortable of a hand forcing their hand to do something.


Allowing your child the freedom to write on his/her own builds their confidence. As tempting as it is to lead, step back and let your child do it. It is also not expected that your child’s writing will be perfect right away, it takes time and they need the time to practice. Even when the writing looks like gibberish, it’s one of the important first steps in learning to communicate through written language.


Other things you can do to allow your child more opportunities to write are to provide very small pencils, crayons etc. The shorter lengthy makes it easier for them to grip with 2 fingers and their thumb. Use regular width tools as well.


Writing skills vary from child to child and with where they are at developmentally in fine motor. Having freedom and exposure to use writing tools is a simple way to build the skill. It’s also important to know about hand dominance, some children may have a clear dominant hand, or it may not be clear just yet; up until the age of 6 is when it will develop. Alternating hands is normal.


Here is a resource you can use for some extra tips and information on writing.

www.writeoutofthebox.com

MILESTONES

While we were away, George celebrated his 4th birthday on April 1st!


Henry M; and Halle from the Toddler room orientated to the Preschool room in March!


Emily, Henry H; and Emery have moved on up to the Pre-K classroom, we wish them well!

PRE-SCHOOL PAGE

SOCIAL SKILLS AND RESILIENCE

During our temporary closure we all experienced lack of socialization with others outside our families. It was probably not so easy for the children either, one day they are at school engaged in play with friends and then suddenly it stopped. Understanding the reasons why for a 3 and 4-year-old was probably also a bit of a challenge. It was a tough 10 weeks, but we all got through it and now we can get back to a bit of normalcy.

Getting back into routine and adjusting to all the changes is new for the children and all the teachers and families; however, the children have shown just how resilient they are which is a big part of their social/emotional development. Resilience is more than bouncing back but bouncing forward. Taking the new changes, and challenges that may come with it, and making it a part of their new normal and learning from them helps build self-awareness and self-advocacy skills. It also boosts their motivation and self-esteem. There have been many changes, a “new room” in their regular classroom, only having one of their teachers with them at all times, and a smaller group of children to engage in play with. When children can bounce back from being away from school for a while, and adjust to all the changes so quickly, it is quite amazing to see that they are bouncing forward.