Fruity Songs

Fruity Songs

imagesWe have been enjoying talking more about fruit this month and trying new flavors! We enjoyed making our fruit salad together earlier this week, and the children enjoyed eating it even more. Today we felt, smelled and tasted a kiwi and a pomegranate, and it was pretty great to have the children asking for more! In addition to trying the fruit, they got great practice sitting at the table and using their listening ears and watching eyes. We were able to talk about safety in the kitchen as well as how much fun it can be to try new foods!

Here are a couple of fruit-related songs to try at home!

Mango Fandango
Mama! Mama! I want a mango

Papa! Papa! Please, papaya.
No, no Nana, a ripe banana
Kiwi kiwi kiwi kiwi quince!

Red berries, berries blue, these are fruits so good for you,
Cherries, cherries sweet and new, and coconuts, yes they’re fruit too!

Orange oranges, lemons yellow, fill my tummy sweet and mellow
Vitamins grown on a tree in pretty packages for you and me.

Oh they travel many miles, fill our hearts with many smiles
Sweet delicious tasty treats from Mother Nature a gift to eat!

I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

Repeat by substituting different vowel sounds . . .

For example, O loke to ote, ote, ote opples and bononos. Our friends think this is the best!

The Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree, two little apples smiled at me,
I shook that tree as hard as I could, down came those apple, mmm, they’re good!

What’s the weather?

What’s the weather?

Some of our favorite weather-related songs . . .

What’s the Weather? (Tune of Oh, My Darling)
What’s the weather, what’s the weather, what’s the weather like today?
Is it cloudy? Is it sunny? What’s the weather like today?

If All of the Raindrops (Link for melody)
If all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be!

If all of the snowflakes were chocolate bars and milkshakes, oh what a snow that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all of the snowflakes were chocolate bars and milkshakes, oh what a snow that would be!

If all of the sunbeams were lemonade and ice cream, oh what a sun that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all of the sunbeams were lemonade and ice cream, oh what a sun that would be!

Mr. Sun  (Link for melody)
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, hiding behind the tree,
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden sun, please shine down on me!
These little children are asking you, please come out so we can play with you.
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden sun, please shine down on me!

The Toddler Language Curriculum

The Toddler Language Curriculum

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Here’s a little more on our language curriculum from our young friend’s perspective, and the skills we are work on introducing and reinforcing in our community!

My vocabulary and communication skills are increasing daily! I am constantly absorbing sounds, words and meaning through work, play, stories and songs. At the age of two, I  will likely display a word explosion and, by the time I reach the age of three, I can do much more!

Within the next year, I will likely . . .

  • Have a vocabulary of 50+ words
  • Mimic adult sounds, words, actions
  • Begin to form simple sentences such as, “I am hungry.”
  • Be able to answer simple questions such as, “Where’s mommy?”
  • Be able to follows simple commands
  • Follow simple grammar rules
  • Enjoy listening to stories
  • Ask, “Why?”
  • Understand descriptive words like “big” and “small”
  • Use descriptive words like “soft” and “hard”
  • Display an increase in imaginative and fantasy play
  • Define the use of simple tools and common household items
  • Recount events
  • Display an emerging understanding of “past” and “future”
  • Scribble with a crayon/marker
  • Begin to use open-ended questions
  • Begin to understand and explain cause and effect
  • Make-up stories
  • Retell stories
Language & Literacy for Littles

Language & Literacy for Littles

“What the hand does, the mind remembers.” Maria Montessori

I’ve always loved language, was an avid reader as a child and received my BA in Language & Linguistics. I then moved to Austin to become a literacy tutor where I developed an even greater respect for the power of language and the written word. The impact it has on even the youngest children is tremendous on so many levels. There’s a lot of talk in educational circles about the “right” way to teach language, reading and writing in particular, and there is certainly value in numerous approaches.

In Montessori, we teach children “sounds” rather than the names of letters which are abstract for children to understand. In addition, before reading and writing, children learn to identify letters through touch through the use of sandpaper letters. We’ve talked before about the importance of a hands-on work for young children. They rely heavily on the use of their tactile sense to absorb information from their world and that information is transmitted to their brains where neurons are firing away and synapses grow in strength through repetition creating a foundation for future academic work.

Similarly, in the toddler community, rather than teach “writing,” we ensure that we are providing plenty of opportunities for our young friends to refine their pincer grasp, an essential skill needed for holding a pencil and writing! Remember, that whole concept of increments? Again, through repetition and through advanced fine motor work, the child displays an increasing readiness for writing down the road.

As mentioned, I believe there is value in a number of approaches, though I greatly respect the Montessori approach as it is rooted in respect for the child’s developing brain and psyche. Personally, I also believe that the process should be fun!

I once worked with a little guy who was labeled a “troublemaker.” I once asked him to do something, and when he complied, someone, (an adult), sarcastically asked, “Wow, how’d you manage to do that?” I was caught off guard, and said, “I don’t know. I just read to him.” And, it occurred to me that the word “just” does not belong in that sentence.

Reading is the most valuable thing you can do with your child at home at this stage! It opens up the world to them. Taking them to the library, allowing them to choose their own books, reading and re-reading those books, using silly voices and different tones, those are all valuable contributions to your child’s journey. If they’re ready for more, we encourage you to make it fun. For example, you don’t have to buy sandpaper letters for use at home; you can make letters in shaving cream or finger-paint! Similarly, you can offer your child to draw shapes in sand or salt in lieu of a sand tray. Chances are if you’re enjoying it, your child will too, and they will be reading and writing in the blink of an eye!

Great songs for hand-washing!

Great songs for hand-washing!

In case you’re wondering, we’re including the lyrics to our hand-washing songs below. Honestly, you could pretty much make up your own song with simple tunes like “Wheels on the Bus” or “Twinkle, Twinkle”, often the sillier, the better, and, standards such as ABC’s and Happy Birthday are just about the right length for a good hand-washing!

Wash our Dirty Hands (Tune of Farmer in the Dell)
We wash our dirty hands, we wash our dirty hands, scrub a dub, a rub a dub, we wash our dirty hands!

Before we eat our snack, before we eat our snack, scrub a dub, a rub a dub, before we eat our snack!

This is the Way we Wash our Hands 
This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands, 
This is the way we wash our hands before we eat our snack!

This is the way we dry our hands, dry our hands, dry our hands, 
This is the way we dry our hands before we eat our snack!

You can also sing these songs during bath time or other times of day, and substitute words of your choice, “Wash your wiggly toes, wash your little belly,” etc. or “This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth!”

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

As you’ve noticed, this time of year often brings on increased coughs, runny noses, and other illnesses. Naturally, we continue to prioritize frequent hand-washing, the number one deterrent for the spread of germs and illness. We typically sing a “hand-washing” song to give the children a sense of how long they should wash their hands, and we model how to make bubbles and wash both the fronts and backs of their hands. We also teach the children how to sneeze and cough in their sleeves versus their hands where germs are more readily spread. You can help by reinforcing these practices at home!

Here are several additional practices we have in place to help keep our kiddos healthy:

  • First, we are required by licensing to keep a sanitizing bin in our environment and anything that goes in a child’s mouth goes in the bin for extra sanitation before it’s made available to other children.
  • In addition to general cleaning, the toileting area, plus all dishes, tables, chairs, and door knobs are sanitized regularly. We also routinely wipe and disinfect surfaces, including work shelves and the children’s work.
  • Children’s water bottles are labeled and are washed regularly. In addition, any plates, utensils, napkins or towels used during the day are only used once and washed at the end of each morning.
  • We regularly diffuse essential oils, including lavender and thieve’s oil, both of which help purify the air and deter the spread of bacteria and viruses.
  • Finally, we teach the children how to use tissues to wipe their noses and throw their tissues away. Of course, we always do a second pass, though this routine is great practice in self-care!

sick-kids

Finally, by way of reminder, we continue to engage in outdoor play as much as we are able. While spending time outdoors may seem contrary to keeping the children healthy, it actually helps to maintain a healthy air flow which keeps our environment and our children healthy. In group care, the spread of illness tends to increase the more time the children spend indoors. Thank you for continuing to send your child in warm layers, including warm coats, hats and gloves as needed so we can do so and for your continued support in this area!

Positive Guidance: Q’s & A’s

Positive Guidance: Q’s & A’s

Hi all! We hope you walked away from our workshop with some useful nuggets of information and thought this follow up information might give you a little more to consider. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a couple of links to some related resources on the same topic that we thought might be of interest to you. Enjoy!

What are reasonable consequences for a toddler?
When considering reasonable, effective consequences for a toddler, we encourage you to make sure that they are timely and relevant. Read more