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Laurinda's Mini-Preschool

Hands on Learning


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13 Tips for Starting Preschool

Posted on 11 August, 2016 at 0:40
I want to share this article with you from NAEYC for families, By Diane Tunis, Rhonda Kleiner, and Fredda Band Loewenstein Is your child entering a preschool program for the first time? Use these tips to help both you and your child make a smooth transition. 1. Visit your local library during a read-aloud time so your child gets used to hearing someone other than Mom, Dad, or Grandpa read aloud book in a group setting. 2. Establish a routine of "early to bed" and school wake-up time several weeks before school begins so your child has time to adjust to the new schedule. 3. Find out about the toileting procedures at the new school or center so you can review the situation with your child and make sure she is comfortable. 4. Arrange play dates with children who will be in your child's class. Usually moms or dads go along on these early play dates. Ask the teacher or school for a list of children who will be in your child's class. 5. If there's a home visit or school visiting day, make sure you and your child participate. If you aren't able to participate, call the school to arrange for a visit to the school and to meet your child's teacher. 6. Make a book at home about the new preschool experience your child is about to begin. Perhaps take photos of the school or of your child in front of school and add text like: This is Sammy at school. This is her favorite t-shirt. This is Mommy picking up Sammy when school is over. 7. Let your child pick out a new backpack and together write her name on it. 8. Tell stories about when you went to school and share how you felt about it. Find childhood pictures of yourself and other adults in your child's life and talk about the photos. 9. If your child has never before been cared for by someone else, start to leave her for short periods of time with friends or relatives. Reinforce the fact that you will return and that she is safe with others. 10. Give your child a personal belonging of yours like a favorite scarf or bandanna so she knows you will come back to get it. 11. Read books about going to school and saying goodbye, such as ??? The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn David Goes to School by David Shannon Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen First Day of School by Anne Rockwell When I Miss You by Cornelia Maude Spelman Take a Kiss to School by Angela McAllister It's Time for Preschool by Esme Raj Codell A Pocketful of Kisses by Audrey Penn 12. Select a special object from home that your child can take to school--like a lunchbox, a book to share, and a small pillow for rest time. 13. Remember that separation is a process. Expect that your child (or yourself) will need time to feel comfortable with the new situation. Diane Tunis is a Head Start teacher at Arcola Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Rhonda Kleiner is a kindergarten teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland. Fredda Band Loewenstein is associate director of the Early Childhood Centers at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, California. . .. . . .

Ice cream

Posted on 29 July, 2016 at 14:20
Today the children really enjoyed making ice cream in a bag. They measured, counted and poured the ingredients into the bag, Then they shook it as hard as they could. Here is the recipe. You will need a measuring cup, measuring spoons, one resealable sandwich bag, one resealable gallon size bag, scoop, sugar,rock salt, vanilla, milk or cream and ice. Ingredients: (one serving) 1 tablespoon of sugar 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla 1/2 cup of milk or cream 6 tablespoons rock salt ice Directions: Put the sugar, milk and vanilla in the sandwich bag. Close it. Insert the bag into the gallon size bag, add rock salt, and fill with the bag a little more than halfway with ice. Sake and roll the gallon bag about 10 minutes, or until you see ice cream. Enjoy this activity with your child and don't forget to describe the color, texture, size or taste of the ingredients.

Cool Summer activities

Posted on 23 July, 2016 at 15:00
Here are a few cool summer activities and snacks developed by Suzanne Gellens for the Southern Early Childhood Association. "Children are curious. Capitalize on their curiosity and help them make sense of the world around them. Why did the puddle dry up? Why do we need to water the flowers often? You can extend your child's learning by helping them to research the answers, both in books and on the Internet. However, hands-on activities are the best way to learn. Children will remember better if they actual experience it. Everything children experience becomes a learning moment. COOL Things to Do: Here are some fun and simple activities to share with your child. These types of inquiries teach children to think. Place ice cubes in the sandbox and time the melting process. (You can also use a pan filled with sand.) How is the sand different? Where did the moisture come from? In some Southern states, children have seen snow, so connect that experience with the ice melting now. During a rainstorm, collect rain in a cup. 1) Measure it. 2) Put it in the freezer. What happens to the water? 3) Put it in the sun. Does it disappear? Why? 4) Boil it on the stove to create steam. (Make sure that your child is a safe distance from the stove and water.) What happened to the water? COOL Snacks: In the summer, cool, nutritious snacks not only taste good but they also provide information to help children to solidify their answers to the above questions. Fruit Popsicles: Put bananas and strawberries into a blender. Freeze in cubes with a stick. Discuss the feel of the fruit before and after they are frozen. Why do the popscicles drip as they melt? Sun Tea: Place a large clear jar of water in the sun and add tea bags. Why did the color of the water and taste change? Why does the jar feel warm? ??? Fruit Smoothies: Blend different combinations of fruit with coconut water ice cubes. If there are no allergies, add yogurt for protein. How did the mixture become a liquid? " Copyright © 2016 Southern Early Childhood Association, All rights reserved

Spring time

Posted on 16 April, 2016 at 10:25

Spring is here and the children are exploring the wonders of the outdoors!

With all the plants and flowers growing the children are investigating seeds and they will learn about life cycles and living things in a variety of ways, like through body movements, drawings, stories read to them and observing seeds and plants grow. They will also learn about the parts of a plant.

At first they look at a variety of seeds by using invstigating tools. They characterize them, and sort them by one characteristic. They will use bird seed for sensory and art.

Then they will  plant seeds and watch them grow inside and outside the classroom. We will graph how many days will it take for the seeds to grow and with measering tools they will measure how much the plants are growing.

Soon we will be planting our garden.

Cold Weather Safety

Posted on 9 February, 2016 at 13:30

Groundhod day was February 2 and according to the predictions winter is here to stay for at least six more weeks. Here are some Cold Weather Safety tips from SECA.

Bundle Up!

Dress children adequately for outdoor play. Layers are a must in snowy conditions. Young children should be

dressed in long johns, turtlenecks, one or two shirts, pants, a sweater, coat, warm socks, boots, gloves or mittens,

and a hat. When the outer layer of clothing gets wet, simply ‘peel it off’ and replace it with new garments.

Check often to make sure the child's clothes are dry; immediately remove and replace any wet clothing.

Dress older infants and young children in one more layer of clothing than would be worn by an adult in the same conditions.

Put babies to sleep in warm one-piece sleepers instead of using blankets, which create the risk of Sudden Infant

Death Syndrome. If a blanket must be used to keep the infant warm, it should reach no higher than the baby's chest

and should be tucked securely around the crib mattress.

Beware of winter-related health concerns.

If you notice that your child is suffering from frequent winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s

room at night. Saline nose drops may also help prevent nosebleeds. If severe or persistent nosebleeds occur, contact

your doctor.

Keep skin moisturized. Many pediatricians recommend bathing infants only 2-3 times per week during their first year.

More frequent baths can dry the skin, especially in the winter.

Help keep cold and flu cases to a minimum with frequent hand washing and by teaching children to sneeze or cough

into the bend of his elbow if a tissue is not available. Children over 6 months should be immunized against the flu virus

each year.

Be on the lookout for frostbite.

Frostbite tends to affect extremities like fingers, toes, ears, and nose.

Affected body parts may become pale, gray, and blistered and the child may complain that his skin burns or has become


If you suspect frostbite has occurred, bring your child inside and place frostbitten areas in warm (NOT hot) water.

Warm washcloths may be used for frostbitten nose, ears, and lips.

DO NOT rub the frozen areas.

After a few minutes, dry your child, cover him with warm clothing and blankets, and give him something warm to drink.

If numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.

Parenting Tips

Posted on 22 January, 2016 at 15:25

Once in awhile we all need a little guindance on parenting, questions apperar in our heads and we wonder if there is anything different that we can do to help our child. Either you whish that your child listens to you, or stops biting, or you want him to use words, but first it is important to understand your child development and that you have real expectations from them. If you are looking for some parenting tips of how to help your child to cooperate with your requests, biting or any other issue, visit the center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, I find it very useful, if you go to resources by group/For families, you will find a variety of articles to choose from. 


Posted on 4 January, 2016 at 21:10

The Holidays are over and finally it starts to feel like winter!!

This month the children will be talking about winter, how animals survive in the wild and Martin Luther King.

While learning about winter the children will be playing with some winter gear, like gloves, mittens, hats and scarves. With those they will also do some sorting, counting and comparing, at the same time they will be experiencing different fabrics and textures. Children will develop awareness of cold temperatures and the three states of water like liquid, solid and gas. They will also be introduced to thermometors. Hopefully we will get some real snow for more fun!

The children will also be talking about animals and how they survive through the winter. They will learn about hibernation, migration, and how some other animals adapt to changes in the environment. They will be discussing characteristics of pets, mammals and birds. Our dramatic area will be a pet store and a veterinary's office.

They will be drawing, painting and creating animal habitats with a variety of materials that will be available to them.

Martin Luther King's Birthday is a good time to talk about our differences and discuss how to be good citizens in and out of our class. 

To emphasize children's learning we will be reading a selection of books related to our discussions, the children will develop print awareness, participate in group discussions, and relate to events.

I am sure that your child will be very busy one way or the other!!

Best Ever Gingerbread Cookies

Posted on 23 December, 2015 at 13:45


Here is the Recipe for the gingerbread cookies that we made today, they really are the best.

1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 egg (beaten), 1/3 cup molasses, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,1/4 ground cloves,

2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cream butter and sugar together until crumbly. Add the beaten egg, molasses, and spices and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add a little at a time to the egg mixture until a smooth dough forms.

If the dough is a little dry add a little milk, if the dough is a little wet add a bit more flour.

When dough is well mixed, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll out dough on a lightly floured board and cut into desired shapes. place cookies in a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Big Jobs at Home

Posted on 11 December, 2015 at 8:05


Article from NAEYC For Families

Young children love to help out, but many times we don’t let them. Why? Because we think it’s easier—and faster—to do everyday jobs ourselves. Your child might take 15 minutes to finish a job you can do in one minute. But in 15 minutes your child can learn a lot!

Big Jobs are indoor and outdoor jobs children do with their families (or others) that help the whole family. They include tasks like setting the table, planting flowers, and tidying up when visitors are coming. To adults they might seem like simple tasks, but Big Jobs carry big rewards—for your child and your entire family.

How are Big Jobs different from chores?

You assign chores. Children volunteer to do Big Jobs because they want to help out. Also, Big Jobs are done together with other family members. Teamwork is an important part of doing Big Jobs.

What do children learn from doing Big Jobs?

They learn to:

work with other people

solve problems


contribute to their family

What are some Big Jobs young children can do?

Cooking and baking—washing and peeling vegetables, stirring muffin batter, tearing lettuce leaves to make salad

Gardening—digging holes, planting seeds, raking leaves, weeding, watering plants indoors and outdoors

Doing laundry—carrying the laundry basket, sorting, folding, delivering clean clothes to each family member’s room

Caring for pets—feeding, brushing, walking, cleaning the cage or aquarium

Cleaning—rinsing dishes, dusting, emptying wastebaskets

Tips for doing Big Jobs at home

Keep your child safe. Show your child how to safely use equipment like a rake or a vegetable peeler. Stay close by when it is his turn.

Try to find child-size tools. They make jobs easier and safer.

Have fun. Remember, your child chose to help out. Keep it enjoyable and she will want to do Big Jobs all the time.

Talk while you work together. Chat about what you are doing and whatever else your child wants to discuss.

Show your appreciation for the work family members have done. Say, “Thanks for setting the table, everyone. We are ready for dinner now, and the table looks beautiful.”

Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack for N.P. Jones, 2007, "Big Jobs," Teaching Young Children 1 (1): 10–12.

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education

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Holiday Season

Posted on 2 December, 2015 at 13:25

 During the holiday season we will be very busy here at Laurinda's Mini-Preschool, the children will be using all their senses while learning about this jolly season.

For those who celebrate Christmas a tree is a must, for that reason, the children will be learning about christmas trees, where they come from, how they grow and how they get to us. They will analise evergreens and decorate a tree in our classroom, with ornaments that they will create.

Since the children love to ask Santa what they want for Christmas we will be discussing what is a want and a need, the children will be making post cards for their family members and writing their Christmas list. They will also learn how children around the world celebrate Christmas.

Around this time at night we also see lots of lights outside, the children will be exploring light and making some light experiments, and they will be baking cookies inspired by our Gingerbread Boy.

Through music and movement the children will pretend that they are Christmas Trees, Reindeer, and Santa Claus.

Daily they will develop math concepts by playing with a variety of manipulative toys and building with blocks.

In the Dramatic center they will be exploring the holiday season through their imagination, from dressing up to cooking or shopping.

During this time of year it is a good opportunity to talk to your child about giving, sharing and to help them develop empathy for others. Please read the naeyc article 10 Tips for Raising a compassionate Infant-Toddler to get some ideas.