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Parks Place

Little Readers, Big Dreams: Nurturing Early Childhood Literacy at Home

By Family, Parental Resources

I’m so passionate about setting our littlest learners up for success, and one of the most powerful things we can do is foster a love of reading and language from a very early age. Ensuring early childhood literacy can be done easily at home.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t my child too young to start reading?” The answer is no! Early literacy is about more than just books. It’s about building a foundation of skills that will lead to confident reading and a lifelong love of learning.

Early Childhood Literacy at Home

Here are some simple ways to turn everyday moments into early literacy adventures:

  • Talk, Talk, Talk! Narrate your day (“Look, I’m putting on your socks!”), sing songs, and have lively conversations.
  • Rhyme Time: Share rhyming books, play word games, and create silly rhymes together. This helps little ones hear the sounds within words.
  • Letter Detectives: Point out letters on signs, in their name, or on their toys. Make it a fun guessing game!
  • Snuggle Up With Stories: Read together daily, even for just a few minutes. Let your child turn the pages and point to pictures. Ask questions about what you’re reading.
  • Bookworms on the Go: Keep books in the car, in your bag, and around the house for quick story sessions anytime.
  • Library Love: Visit your local library for storytimes, activities, and of course, loads of fantastic books!

Remember, fostering early literacy is about making it fun and playful! The more positive experiences your child has with words, stories, and books, the more they’ll grow to love learning.

Need book recommendations or additional tips? Your child’s teacher or librarian are wonderful resources!

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Do You Know the Dietary Needs for Your Child? Are They Meeting Them?

By Family, Family Wheel

Children are notorious for being picky eaters. It’s easiest when they are infants and their choices are limited between milk and formula. As children get older, sneaking veggies in between bites of fruit or other snacks is still pretty easy. It gets trickier as they get older, but at every age, it’s important to know their dietary needs to ensure they’re being met.

Do You Know the Dietary Needs for Your Child?

Dietary needs refer to how much protein, fat, sugar, and fiber are in the meals they eat each day. It’s also about the vitamins, minerals, and overall nutritional value they receive. In general, how nutritious are their daily meals?

Nutritious meals have a variety of foods from different food groups:

  • Proteins
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Dairy

Aim to limit calories from:

  • Added sugar
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodium

Age-Appropriate Dietary Recommendations

The dietary recommendations differ for children at each age. A one-year-old’s dietary needs are different from a four-year-old’s; therefore, a balanced meal will be different for each.

Importance of Nutrition for Children

Nutrition is critical for all aspects of a child’s health, wellbeing, and ability to function. Unfortunately, not all foods that kids enjoy are nutritious. When children don’t meet their dietary needs, malnourishment can occur. Interestingly, malnutrition does not solely mean underweight. Even overweight children can be malnourished. This happens when children consume too many calories but lack sufficient fiber, vitamins, minerals, or other vital nutrients.

Malnutrition can lead to missed growth and developmental opportunities, as well as education due to delays. Behavioral problems can also arise in both the short and long term. Some issues stemming from malnutrition can be resolved, but if it persists, the damage can be lifelong.

Taking Action

A good starting point is learning the dietary recommendations for healthy children and understanding the healthiest food options. Parents can consult their child’s pediatrician and learn to decipher food labels. Food labels provide information about calories, fat, protein, sugar, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals. By offering healthier options, parents empower their children to make healthier choices.

Reflection:

  • What Are Your Children’s Nutrition Challenges? Identifying where your children’s nutrition might be lacking is crucial for improvement.
  • What Ideas Do You Have to Resolve Them? Perhaps introducing creative meal presentations, involving kids in meal preparation, or trying new recipes could be effective strategies. Brainstorm ways to make nutritious eating exciting for your children.

From self-care tips to creating precious family moments, discover how you can make this journey fulfilling for both you and your children. Get your copy of  “The Family Wheel” today! Have questions? Feel free to Contact Us.

Actions to Take to Improve Your Knowledge and Skills as a Parent

By Family, Family Wheel

A lot of parenting is figuring things out day by day, however, there is an old saying “You don’t know what you don’t know”. There is so much information out there, but rather than getting overwhelmed, the goal for parents should be to continuously learn and grow with their children. It’s true parents can’t know everything, but they can be proactive and improve knowledge and skills to ensure they are able to help their children grow up to be strong, healthy, happy, members of society. Read on to learn actions to take to improve your knowledge and skills as a parent or guardian.

Why It’s Important for Parents to Take Action

Another old saying is “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Parents who don’t put in the effort to build their knowledge and skills can find themselves in challenges they don’t know how to handle because they weren’t aware of it and didn’t plan for it. Some challenges have easy remedies, and parents can learn from the experience. Unfortunately, some challenges have lifelong consequences for the entire family.

Ways to Gain Knowledge and Skills

  • Books or Articles from Trusted Authors: Reading books and articles written by trusted experts in the field of parenting can provide valuable insights and practical tips. Look for authors who base their advice on research and real-life experiences.
  • Workshops or Classes: Many communities offer workshops and classes on parenting topics. These can be a great way to learn from professionals and connect with other parents who are facing similar challenges.
  • Online Education Courses: The internet has a wealth of online courses covering various aspects of parenting. These courses are often flexible and can be completed at your own pace, allowing you to learn on your schedule.
  • Parenting Apps: There are numerous apps designed to assist parents with various aspects of child-rearing. These apps offer tips, advice, and even interactive tools to help you navigate the challenges of parenting.

Steps Parents Can Take

Being proactive in improving knowledge and skills will be different for each parent. The good news is that reading this blog is a fantastic starting point. It’s important to remember that parents don’t have to know everything all at once all of the time. Building knowledge and skills is a journey that takes a little time each week to make a difference.

Reflection:

  • What is Something You Could Commit to Doing Each Week? Whether it’s reading an article, watching an educational video, or attending a virtual workshop, dedicating a small portion of your week to learning can add up over time.
  • What is a Parenting Topic You’d Like to Learn More About? Is it discipline strategies, effective communication, child development, or something else? Identifying the areas you’d like to learn more about can guide your efforts to improve as a parent.

Remember, parenting is a journey filled with learning and growth. By taking proactive steps to enhance your knowledge and skills, you’re investing in your child’s well-being and creating a positive environment for their development. From self-care tips to creating precious family moments, discover how you can make this journey fulfilling for both you and your children. Get your copy of  “The Family Wheel” today! Have questions? Feel free to Contact Us.

Ideas for Becoming a Comfortable and Confident Parent

By Family, Family Wheel, Parental Resources
Do you feel like a comfortable and confident parent? Parenting is an ever-evolving journey, and it’s natural to feel a bit uncertain amidst the multitude of advice and resources available. However, cultivating confidence is essential for your child’s growth and your peace of mind. Let’s explore why confidence matters and discover some simple ways to boost your parenting confidence.

Becoming a Comfortable and Confident Parent

  • Enhanced Decision Making: Confidence empowers you to make informed decisions for your child, trusting your judgment without constantly doubting your choices.
  • Creating a Nurturing Environment: Confidence drives proactive steps toward establishing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment that fosters your child’s well-being.
  • Emotional Availability: Being confident enables you to be emotionally available for your child, forming healthy connections by actively engaging in their emotional world.

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Parks's Place Learning Center

Parks’ Place Anthem for Children

By General AnnouncementsNo Comments

As we step into the new year, it’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the school year. This means we’re approaching an important event: graduation. One of our special traditions is teaching the Parks’ Place anthem to our students. It’s a song that holds a lot of meaning for us—it’s sung by each graduating class and carries with it the memories and experiences of their time here.

As we look ahead to the rest of the school year, let’s take a moment to start getting ready for this year’s graduation. It’s not just about finishing up classes; it’s about celebrating the journey we’ve been on together. The anthem is a part of that journey, representing unity and the unique experiences each student brings to our school community.

So, as we begin the new year let’s get excited about celebrating our students’ accomplishments and the friendships they’ve made along the way. It’s a time for us to encourage them to cherish every moment and to keep growing as individuals. Together, let’s make this year’s graduation a memorable celebration of all that our students have achieved.

 

Parks’ Place Anthem for Children

As you walk through this world,
Watch how you go.
As you walk through this world,
Learn as you grow.

Take the time.
Take the care.

Learn to Give.
Learn to Share.

Learn to leave what you found
for those who follow on the way.

As you walk through this world,
Watch how you dwell.
As you walk through this world,
Please leave it well.

Take the time.
Take the care.

Learn to Give.
Learn to Share.

Learn to leave what you found
for those who follow on the way.

 

Fun Holiday Games for Families

By Family, Family Wheel, Fun, Kids

The holiday season is a magical time for families to come together, create lasting memories, and enjoy delightful moments. It’s time for fun holiday games! For parents with young children, incorporating festive games into your celebrations can add an extra layer of joy and excitement. Whether you’re celebrating Kwanzaa, Christmas, or ringing in the New Year, here are some entertaining holiday games perfect for the whole family!

Fun Holiday Games for Families

 

Kwanzaa Games 

Kwanzaa Kinara Game: Create a DIY Kinara (candle holder) with seven candles, each representing one of the Nguzo Saba principles. Light a candle each night and discuss its significance. Engage kids by having them share ways they embody these principles daily.

Umoja (Unity) Puzzle: Craft a unity puzzle using family photos. Assemble the puzzle together, emphasizing the importance of togetherness and unity within the family.

Christmas Games

Holiday Scavenger Hunt: Design a festive scavenger hunt around the house or outdoors, featuring hidden Christmas-themed items. Provide clues or riddles to guide children in finding the treasures, rewarding them with small treats or surprises.

Christmas Charades: Gather everyone for a game of Christmas-themed charades. Act out holiday-related phrases or songs, encouraging giggles and creativity as children try to guess the clues.

Decorate the Gingerbread House: Engage in the timeless tradition of decorating a gingerbread house. Provide various candies, icing, and edible decorations, letting kids unleash their creativity while creating sugary masterpieces.

New Year Games 

Resolution Race: Write down age-appropriate New Year resolutions on strips of paper. Have each family member pick a resolution from a hat and explain how they plan to achieve it. This game fosters discussion about goal-setting and personal growth.

Countdown Balloon Pop: Create a countdown to midnight (or an earlier kid-friendly time) using balloons labeled with activities inside each one. Pop a balloon every hour or half-hour, revealing an activity the family can enjoy together, like dancing, playing a game, or sharing wishes for the upcoming year.

Memory Jar for the New Year: Set up a memory jar where everyone can jot down their favorite memories from the past year. Read these aloud as a family on New Year’s Eve, reminiscing about the joys and accomplishments of the year gone by.

Remember, the essence of these fun holiday games isn’t just about winning; it’s about spending quality time together, fostering connections, and creating cherished traditions. Embrace the joy, laughter, and togetherness that these games bring, making this holiday season a memorable and heartwarming experience for your family!

For more useful tips or the perfect gift for parents and caregivers, look to Mrs. Park’s book ‘The Family Wheel’.  This useful book provides parents with a structured process to improve in each aspect of parenting. It offers guidance, resources, and thought-provoking exercises to help them define purposeful actions aligned with their unique preferences, family dynamics, and goals. As they take proactive steps toward self-improvement, they’ll witness the positive impact it has on their ability to show up as the best version of themselves. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CFD2MB3W?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Have questions about Parks’ Place Learning Center? Contact us!

Thanksgiving Joy: Kids’ Adorable Celebrations!

By General Announcements

Happy Thanksgiving from Park's Place!

🦃 Get ready to be charmed by our little ones as they spread Thanksgiving cheer in the most adorable way! 🍁

Watch as our children dress up and embrace the festive spirit of Thanksgiving with their heartwarming smiles, creative costumes, and endearing gestures. From mini pilgrims to tiny turkeys, their enthusiasm is contagious, and their gratitude is truly heart-melting. Join us in celebrating the season of gratitude and family togetherness with these precious moments that remind us of the simple joys of Thanksgiving.

Halloween

Spooktacular Halloween Decorations and Family Fun!

By Fun, Kids

Happy Halloween from Park's Place!

🎃 Dive into the enchanting world of Halloween with us as we unveil our bewitching decorations and share the thrilling activities that have filled our home with spooky delight!

From creepy cobwebs to ghoulishly delightful pumpkins, our Halloween décor is sure to give you hair-raising inspiration for your own haunted house. Join us as we embark on thrilling adventures, from carving jack-o’-lanterns to costume preparations, and even a little eerie ghost-hunting. This video is packed with family-friendly Halloween fun that’s sure to put a spell on you! Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more wickedly wonderful content! 🕸️👻🍂

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Potty Training Tips

Toilet Mastery: Guiding Your Child’s Potty Training Journey

By Parental Resources, Toddlers

Toilet Mastery – How do I teach my child?

Age 2 is a good time to start

Watch for readiness signs:

Child stays dry for as long as 2-3 hours.
Child seems to understand the general idea and is able to let you know when he or she has the urge to urinate or have a BM.
Child is interested in learning.
Child can manage clothing and potty chair.

Read more in the full article.

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