5 Things Nursery School Taught Me

nursery-learning-child-montessori

By Lexi Mainland from A Cup of Jo

My two-year-old started school this fall and he’s full of surprising new knowledge. “Snails only have one foot, Mommy,” he pointed out when I tried (clumsily) to draw a portrait of the classroom pet. But, true to parenting form, I think I’ve gained as much wisdom as he has. His teachers, who use the Montessori method, have decades of experience with little ones and I’ve picked up so many tips. Here are five that were especially thought-provoking…

On please and thank you. Parents often encourage toddlers to use pleasantries like please and thank you, but the head teacher says that’s less important than teaching them to ask nicely — without shouting, demanding or whining — and directly, with eye contact. In her view, most two-year-olds can’t yet understand the meaning of please or thank you (they’re just words), but they can understand the difference between saying “more crackers” nicely and not.

On self-care. One of Montessori’s tenets is teaching children how do practical things themselves. There are many dimensions to this, but my favorite is the water pitcher. A covered pitcher is always available next to a stack of durable glasses and a small towel. The kids learn to help themselves whenever they need a drink. And if they spill a little, no big deal — a towel is right there so they can clean up. (Jasper loves pouring water for himself and everyone else.)

On referring to classmates. All the kids at school are taught to call their classmates “friends,” which is so sweet. For young children who are still getting their sea legs socially (and might find memorizing a bunch of new names challenging), being able to say, “I played with a friend!” at the end of the day is empowering. Jasper tells me, “I have eight different friends in my class!”

On praising toddlers. There are a ton of different philosophies about how to praise kids, but when Jasper does something great, we tend to overreact. “Great job!” I’ll say. Or “Wow, that’s amazing!” His teachers at school have a more matter-of-fact way of praising that Jasper really responds to. They’ll acknowledge his work (“You made a picture!”) and offer praise that’s specific rather than general. “I like how you drew the tree so tall,” they’ll say. The idea is that this encourages kids to think and talk about their about their own work, and to appreciate its merits on their own, rather than always looking to others for approval.

On diaper duty. Our school leaves potty training (and its timeline) up to parents and kids, but they help support the process and have a specific point of view: Always change toddlers’ diapers in the bathroom, standing up. Anything solid in the diaper gets flushed down the toilet and kids wash their hands after being changed. When we learned this on parents’ night, all of us collectively slapped our foreheads. What a sensible way to start showing little kids what the bathroom is all about. It instantly sets them on the path to potty training.

What has your kids’ school taught you about parenting? Do you do any of these things? I’d love to hear.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BABY SWING

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from The Rebel Chick

Having a newborn baby is an exhilarating experience that will make you feel like getting the best of everything for your child. One thing you will surely want to get for your baby, is a handy swing that you can use to calm your baby down or to keep your baby preoccupied.

If you have no clue about buying a baby swing, don’t fret. Everything you need to know about choosing the best baby swing for newborns is in here. Simply read on to find out more.

Why You Need To Get A Baby Swing

If you are a new parent, I’m sure you must have felt the frustration of keeping a fussy baby down. A baby who has been crying non-stop for hours can be really stressful to handle, especially when you have not gotten any decent amount of rest yet. This is where the baby swing comes in.

Having a nice baby swing can save you hours of trying to calm down your baby. A swing can also provide your child a safe space to say in whenever your hands are full. Baby swings are very useful during the baby’s first few months. Babies currently on their first trimesters can be calmed down by rocking motions similar to the ones they feel inside the womb.

However, a swing is no alternative for human contact. Swings are merely instruments that can help you soothe your baby. It is not something where you want to leave your baby for a long period of time.

How To Choose A Baby Swing For Newborns

When it comes to choosing the best baby swing for your child, there are a couple of steps you can rely on to make sure you are going towards the right choice. Here are the simple steps you need to take to make sure you are getting the right product for your child:

 

Step 1: Know Your Swing

There are different types of baby swings available in the market today. Each swing comes with different specifications that can fit your baby’s needs. Here are the different types of swings you can choose from:

Full-size Baby Swings
A full-size baby swing can offer you and your child a number of useful features. However, if space is an issue in your home, a full-size swing may not be the best choice since these types usually offer more motions.

Portable Baby Swings
Portable baby swings are lightweight and are quite easy to carry around. These types of swings are perfect for newborns and 1-year old from 2.5kg up to 12kg.

Combination Baby Swings
A combination baby swing contains plenty of features such as a bouncer, rocker, glider, or cradle. These types if swings are very convenient because you wouldn’t need to get several products to keep your baby calm and happy.

Glider Swings
These types of swings are perfect for soothing an infant because of its soft and gentle motions. Glider swings are also very easy to move around, making them perfect to move from one part of the house to another.

Hanging Swings
A hanging swing is a great choice for homes with porches since it can be used both indoors and outdoors. All you will need to do is set up some overhead support and you’re good to go.

 

Step 2: Know What Features You Like

As I have mentioned before, baby swings come with different features. If you want to make sure you get the bang for your buck, make sure to look out for these handy features when you start looking for a baby swing to purchase.

Battery Powered
Some baby swings come with battery options or plugin chords. If you are constantly multitasking, finding a handy swing that can rock itself can be a total lifesaver.

Safety Harness
Of course you would want your baby to be secured safely inside the swing. Make sure the swing you are getting comes with a secure safety harness that can be adjusted to the comfort of your baby. Look for a swing with a 5-point harness for more flexible adjustments.

Durability
When buying a baby swing, make sure that you are getting one made with a heavy duty frame. After all, you wouldn’t want to find your baby in a swing that looks like it’s about to fall into pieces.

Easy to Clean and Maintain
Babies can make lots of mess. There’s drool, spit-up, urine, and even poop. To make things easier for you, try and get a swing with removable interiors that can be washed in the washing machine.

 

Step 3: Follow Safety Precautions

To ensure your child’s overall safety, you will also need to make sure your swing is completely stable once assembled. If you have the time, try and assemble the swing while you’re still at the store to see for yourself how stable it actually is.

Another thing you should not forget is to check that all harnesses, buckles, and toys connected to the swing are firmly in place. Make sure that there aren’t any loose parts that your baby can get in his or her mouth.

The last thing you may want to do is ask the store for a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to ensure that the baby swing you are getting conforms to all product safety standards.

 

Final Thought

Getting a baby swing can be really frustrating when you haven’t bought one on your own before. To make sure that you are getting the best product for your child, simply go over the simple steps I taught you: Know which type of swing you prefer, Know what features you would like, and practice the safety precautions to ensure the overall safety of your child.

2017 SOUTH FLORIDA SUMMER CAMP ROUNDUP

By Modern Boca Mom

It’s already March and I can’t believe families like mine are already in the market for a SUMMER CAMP! But shoot, here we are. I have done my 2017 South Florida Summer Camps digging and found out there is a great option for every child whether you’re in Boca Raton or beyond in South Florida.

If your son/daughter is into theater, dance, sports, gymnastics, surfing– you name it–we have a 2017 South Florida Summer Camps recommendation below for you!

Camp Twisters

At Camp Twisters, we realize you have many choices when it comes to finding the best Summer camp for your child.  If your child LOVES climbing, jumping, running and flipping, then they will have a BLAST at Twisters.  Whether your child spends a session, a day, a week or the whole summer at Twisters, their time here will be filled with loads of fun!

We are excited to offer 10 weeks of fun in our clean, state-of-the-art facility with our professional, safety-certified staff! Registration includes the camp sessions of your choice, gymnastics instruction, healthy snack & juice each day, arts & crafts, movie time, fun & games! Lunch is available daily for $7.  In addition to summer camp, Twisters offers many day camps throughout the school year during holiday breaks and teacher work days! Click to see a typical day at Camp Twisters:  https://youtu.be/2fN3Mi1kbMs

3100 NW Boca Raton Blvd #308
Boca Raton, FL

AND

6805 Lyons Technology Circle
Coconut Creek, FL

WEBSITE: www.camptwisters.com

CONTACT: Boca Raton -561-750-6001 or Coconut Creek -954-725-9199

 

 

Be Cool this Summer! Curated Camp Experiences by Space of Mind

Summer Discovery! Space of Mind summer campers in middle and high school will explore their passions and discover new ones through the arts, music, movement, cooking, fitness, filmmaking, songwriting, yoga, maker labs and even environmental studies. Our experienced team of coaches have curated fun, personalized and exciting learning experiences including Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Adventure, Farm-to-Table Culinary Creations and Everything Water!

Campers can also hone their academic skills, whether for course credit or just remediation and enrichment. High school students looking to complete their online course requirement (through FLVS or another platform), make up credits or get ahead can do so in a fun and inspiring environment where academic coaches are on-hand to offer support, guidance, organizational and study skills. In addition, the Save our City Sustainable Summer Program allows campers to become a civil engineer for the summer and design a city that can sustain itself as our future redefines the environment and our way of life.  Have your child learn and grow socially, emotionally, creatively and intellectually this summer – all while having an aweSOMe time!

Parent Camp! When moms and dads tour our whimsical and inspiring space, they always ask for a parent program! On Thursday evenings this summer get artsy, learn to cook healthy family meals, do yoga, enjoy wine and food pairings, learn to raise a tech-savvy and safe child, and more! Most of all, meet other parents just like you and have FUN!

Babysitting Drop-In!  Plan a date night and we will entertain your kids with fun activities, snacks and drinks.

Programs for kids run Mondays-Thursdays, June 12th-August 3rd from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and half day is available from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Parent Camp is held from June 15th-August 3rd from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Babysitting drop in is available from June 17th – August 5th on Saturdays from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

102 N. Swinton Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33444

WEBSITE: http://www.findspaceofmind.com/summer-programs

CONTACT: 877-407-1122; admin@myspaceofmind.com

 

Waves Surf Academy

Waves Surf Academy and The City of Delray Beach Surf Camp runs on select weekends, spring & summer dates. The spring break camp program is March 20th – March 24th. The summer camp program is from June – August. The surf camp is Monday though Friday from 9:00 a.m -2:30 p.m. We offer both daily and weekly camp rates. The camp offers a surf program to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you have never surfed before and always dreamed of learning or if you just want to improve your existing skills, we have the coaching that will enable you to reach your goals.

Anchor Park
340 South Ocean Boulevard
Delray Beach, FL 33444

WEBSITE: http://wavessurfacademy.com/

CONTACT: Eric Dernick at 561-843-0481

 

Organic Movements Dance School Summer Dance Intensives

Organic Movements Dance School in East Boca Raton offers both a ½ Day Summer Dance Intensive for students ages 3+ (students must be 3 by January 1, 2017) as well as their traditional Full-Day Dance Intensive for students ages 7 – 18. Both programs are taught in their state of the art, professionally appointed 5,200 sq ft facilities, which feature an in-house performance space, sprung floor, full-length mirrors, sound systems, kitchen and dressing rooms. Each 3 week Session culminates in a performance review on the last Friday of the session at 4:00pm (12:00pm for the 1/2 Day Intensive students).

The ½ Day Dance Intensive runs M – F from 8:30am – 12:00pm. Students are introduced to foundational technique in an array of genres of dance, creative movement and performance arts, including: Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Creative Movement, Acro/Tumbling, Prop-Making, and music.

Students enrolled in the Full-Day Dance Intensive are placed according to technique level. Each morning is devoted to technical training, and afternoons are comprised of choreography as well as strength & conditioning training. The programs strongest focus is on classical ballet, yet each session will also focus on introducing, exposing and educating students in different dance disciplines to help create well-rounded dancers. Intermediate and Advanced level students’ training is reinforced through pointe/pre-pointe and classical variations. Additional genres of training vary by session, but include: Modern, Jazz, Broadway Dance, Contemporary and Lyrical.

2400 NW Boca Raton Blvd., Suite 12
Boca Raton, FL 33431

WEBSITE: www.organicmovements.com

CONTACT: 561-395-6111; hello@organicmovements.com

 

Summer was Made for Adventure at the South Florida Science Center

Summer is made for adventure! Perfect for young scientists ages 4-14, each exciting week of camp offers hands-on exploration on a variety of topics in science, engineering and technology. The days are packed with interactive lessons, daring laboratories, themed crafts, and outdoor activities led by our expert Science Educators. Themes include Seaside Science, Underwater Robotics, MinecraftEDU: Xtreme and many more!

Additional information: Camps run from June 5th to August 11thMon.-Fri. from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with before & aftercare available from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. These camps are also offered at our Jupiter satellite location, STEM Studio.

4801 Dreher Trail N.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

WEBSITE:  www.sfsciencecenter.org/camp

CONTACT: 561-832-2026; programs@sfsciencecenter.org

 

Super Stars Summer Camp

At Super Stars, your child will learn the fundamental skills of sports through a variety of games. Children will engage in recreation and fitness activities, which will enhance their strength and motor skills. Activities include swimming, soccer, basketball, water slides, kickball, relay races, color war, obstacle courses, bounce houses, team challenges and much more!

Sports, fun and activities in Boca Raton at Loggers’ Run Middle School. Super Stars is entering their 14th year of providing fun for children grades k-6. This unique camp concept offers sports and activities in an environment that promotes FUN, fitness, health and sportsmanship. This non-travel camp for ages 4 to 12 keeps your child safe and active throughout the day.

Loggers’ Run Middle School
11584 W Palmetto Park Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33428

WEBSITE: www.SuperStarsCamp.com

REGISTRATION LINK: https://fs7.formsite.com/superstarscamp/2017Summer/index.html

CONTACT: 954-444-8548; supercamp@att.net

 

iD Tech Camps

iD Tech Camps is a summer technology program for students ages 7-17 with 180 locations across the US including 6 in Florida. We offer courses in programming, video game design, robotics, cryptography, 3D modeling/printing, filmmaking, photography, and more. These weeklong day and overnight summer camps include hands-on, personalized technology instruction and a variety of fun summer camp activities. iD Tech courses are led by tech-savvy staff in a dynamic, pressure-free learning environment. Our goal is to help our kids gain a love of learning through building critical 21st-century STEM skills, and have fun while doing it.

South Florida Locations Include: Florida Atlantic University, Pine Crest- Fort Lauderdale, & University of Miami

WEBSITE: Learn More Information and Register atwww.iDTech.com

CONTACT: 408-871-3748

 

Showtime Performing Arts Theatre Summer Camp 2017

Audition, Act, Sing, Dance and Perform! Offering 10 exciting weeks, June 5th – August 11th. Attend all sessions or just parts of the summer. Learn and fine-tune your performance skills from the very best Theatre Professionals South Florida has to offer! Now in our 11th year in the beautiful Royal Palm Plaza, Downtown Boca Raton, we have been voted Best Academic/Arts Program in Palm Beach County and Best Children’s Theatre in South Florida! Open year-round, we produce and perform over 20 family musicals per year in our intimate theater and teaching studios.

General camp hours are 9am-3pm with early and after care options from 8am-6pm featuring sessions for ages 3 through teens. Tuition begins at $300 + call for discounts. Dance, acting and voice classes after camp only $10 per class (normally $20)!  Voted “Best Summer Camp” and sold out 10 years in a row! Don’t be left out!

503 SE Mizner Blvd
Boca Raton

WEBSITE: For details, discounts and registration, visit our website www.showtimeboca.com 

CONTACT: 561-394-2626

British American Newborn Care

www.bababynurses.com

Advice for finding your Baby Nurse/ Newborn Care Specialist

British American Newborn Care provides heavily screened and highly qualified Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists in The United States and United Kingdom, all of whom are known for their incisive knowledge and expertise in the newborn and childcare industries. They recommend the following advice when hiring a Baby Nurse/Newborn Care Specialist (NCS):

First and foremost, have a list of questions ready to screen the Baby Nurse or NCS.  Your questions and their answers should be crosschecked with the American School of Pediatrics. Examples are:

 

At what stage do I start ‘sleep scheduling?

·      Correct answer: Not before 3.5 months- 5 months is recommended

·      Incorrect answer: From day 1, from 2-weeks, 8-weeks etc.

 

What can I do to help my infant sleep through the night without actually sleep scheduling?

·      Correct answer: Mum can stand beside the crib but don’t pick the infant up each time he/she cries.

·      Incorrect answer: Let the infant cry it out. Use feeding as a method to sleep schedule.

 

What are the reasons for colic and what can be administered for it?

·      Correct answer: There are many reasons for colic - the Mother’s diet (should be low in acid), the infant eating too quickly, food sensitivities on the infant’s side, etc.  Check with the pediatrician before giving anything to the infant

·      Incorrect answer: Gripe water from my country, advising any kind of medication administration whatsoever

 

We recommend you, the Mother, start searching for a Baby Nurse as early as possible.  Baby Nurses get booked up quickly throughout the year, so the sooner you start searching, the more choice you will have. Baby Nurses on the East Coast are often much more flexible with their schedule and are typically less expensive than those on the West Coast. West Coast based baby nurses (commonly termed Newborn Care Specialists in California) tend to be more professional, hold more certifications, and are often highly qualified. There are many Baby Nurses on the East Coast who match this level of expertise, but we recommend a mother use a trusted agency to ensure the unqualified and potentially dangerous caregivers are extracted from the mix.

 

British American Newborn Care recommends hiring two Baby Nurses to cover the 24-hour shift. This way, neither Baby Nurse is at risk of exhaustion and subsequently becoming unfit to care for your infant. The recommended length of time to keep a baby nurse is from 3-6 months.

This ensures proper transition to a Nanny (nannies rarely have hands-on experience with infants less than 3 months).

 

Interview carefully.  Evaluate certifications (which can include Infant Care Specialist, infant CPR, LPN, LVN RN), years of experience and skill level, and find out if this is somebody you are comfortable with.  The Baby Nurse should support your beliefs, providing they are safe.  Topics to cover include your ideas relating to breastfeeding and formula, sleeping, feeding, development etc.  NO Baby Nurse should try to alter your values or bully you into thinking their way.  If you feel the Baby Nurse is this type of caregiver during the interview process, RUN! Always check certifications and references, and run an all-State and Federal background check.  Finally, Google searching and social media searching is an imperative step all mothers should take.

 

The cost of a Baby Nurse can range from $25-60 an hour, or $350-$1,000 a day.  If you do hire a Baby Nurse for a 24-hour period, a minimum of 4-hours off each day to rest and recoup are required.

 

Lastly and most importantly, listen to your instinct - a mother’s intuition is rarely wrong.

 

Any questions in relation to hiring a caregiver, Baby Nurse or NCS, or any other household help (housekeepers, chefs, managers, personal assistants), email info@bahs.com or call (212) 966-2247 (BAHS)

 

Check out www.bababynurses.com for more details on Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists through British American Newborn Care. 

 

Anita Rogers is the founder of British American Household Staffing (bahs.com), British American Newborn Care (www.bababynurses.com) and British American Yachts (bahsyachts.com).