This is for fun not for eating! Home made Slime will provide lots of fun and entertainment on a snowy Sunday afternoon. Mix equal parts liquid laundry starch and Elmer’s Glue. Food coloring and flavoring extract may be added to the laundry starch for variety. This also makes an inexpensive party favor. It will keep for some time in the refrigerator.
The children have a “homework assignment” for our TRANSPORTATION theme: to cut out pictures of transportation to bring in for our bulletin boards. The children will use these pictures to classify air, land, and water transportation; learn transportation terms; become alert to many different and unusual methods of transportation and to people who use specialized forms of transportation.
Of course, their assignment includes cleaning up any mess they may make cutting – Have fun!
We need your help. . .
Parents, remember to pick up receipts, papers, and wet pants — we will do everything we can to make it an easier task for you, but please make it part of your routine every day!
Employed parents spend a lot of time in the car with their children going from home to child care, to work and back again. This time can be a frustrating hassle or a valuable and enjoyable part of your routing. If you give the kids all of your attention during this time, maybe, just maybe, when you get home they’ll let you relax for a minute of two before you start dinner.
Stay connected with what is happening at Toddle Towne so you can help your children anticipate the events of the day. On the way home, try starting a conversation with leading questions like, “How was the spaghetti today?” or “What did you see on your field trip to the parking lot?” You can also save a little early morning hassle by checking our calendar to see if you need to get that transportation toy ready to take to school tomorrow. Put it in the car now so you don’t forget!
Travel time can be used to enhance learning by pointing out numbers, shapes, and letters found in signs and license plates. With each change in the speed limit have them check to tell you if you need to slow down of go faster. Look out the window and talk! Explain what the service vehicles or repair crews are doing, point out changes in weather and conditions. Count the number of dogs, or red cars, or anything else you see. See how many store signs they can recognize and “read”. Ask them, “Which way will we turn next?” “What kind of a store should we go to to buy milk? Gas? Etc.?” Pick one or two new words each week. Tape them to the dashboard of the car. Use the word with a definition, (That truck is enormous, it is very big.) at least twice a day until you hear them using it in a conversation.
Tell them about your day, explain what you did at work. Explain the function of all of the car’s gauges and dials, let them check to see if you need gas, watch the odometer change and operated the heater of radio. Teach them to be safe passengers and (future) safe drivers by explaining why you stop and why they must use their seatbelts.
If your child is still too young for these activities, hang a mobile in front of the car seat, or tape pictures of single objects they are learning to name, shapes, or colors on the back of the front seat, so they have something to look at. Position a suction mirror on the dash so you can see and talk to your child in the back seat. Sing silly songs. It will increase vocabulary and calm a fussy child. Include the child’s name in made-up songs to familiar tunes. (Where or where is dear little Lauren? Way back there in the back seat!).
Have fun and drive carefully
In January, newspapers and TV stations all run reviews of the happenings of the past year. Has it struck you that many of these clips have to do with crime and violence involving teenagers? Drug use has increased, guns are used to vent frustrations, and 1/4 of all teenage mothers are unmarried. As your child grows older, does it make you cringe and wish there were something you could do to prevent your child from being one of these statistics?
Research with the Perry Preschool Project indicates that children who attend quality child care centers are less likely to become unmarried teenage parents, drop out of school or spend time in jail. This is encouraging but what is the reason for the differences in behavior? Is it just the routine of attending a center every day? Is there something that goes on at the child care center? Research has identified the phenomena but hasn’t drawn any conclusions as to why this is so. After a good many years of observing parents and children, in and out of day care, I have my own opinion as to the “why” of the question.
In center care, children are exposed at a young age to group situations. Situations where they are not the only child or any more important than any other child there. All children are treated with equal caring and respect. They must all learn to take turns, to wait in line, to do things they don’t want to, to share their materials and to conform to rules. In order to function child centers must teach self-control and social skills. We don’t use physical punishment, instead every action has a set of consequences which follow a child’s choices of behaviors. If appropriate behavior is chosen positive consequences follow…approval, being leader, extra time with special activities, etc. Inappropriate behavior brings less desirable consequences. Nothing extreme, just that they don’t get the extra approval, the favored place in line, the special treats and privileges. Intelligent children soon learn to control their aggressive impulses and to deal productively with frustration. They do, that is, unless their parents step in to protect them from toughing out the consequences of their own actions.
In theory, all parents recognize that negative consequences are necessary and that in order for consequences to be effective they must be things which the children do not enjoy, they must cause the child some disappointment, frustration, or dissatisfaction. Even knowing this, parents almost daily ask, and sometimes demand, that their children be excused from activities they don’t enjoy, that they be allowed special privileges they didn’t earn, that their consequences be modified so that they cause no discomfort. As parents try to protect their child from a minimal and short term frustration, they give the child the message that s/he is special and above rules and regulations or consequences. Children learn this lesson fast and well. The evidence is on the 6 o’clock news every evening.
Parents do have a responsibility to see that their children are treated fairly, but in trying to give them a childhood without restrictions or unpleasantness they may be sowing the seeds of teenage rebellion and adult heartache. Growing up is tough on parents and children. Our goal for the coming years would be that we can work productively with parents to give children a better future.