Category Archives: Educators / Providers

Early Social Skills: Joint Activities with Peers

Encouraging simple peer interactions within familiar routines and activities can be an effective first step toward helping children to: attend to their peers, share attention with their peers, respond and initiate simple exchanges. A first step may be having the children non-verbally participate in the interactions, and later adults can model appropriate language that the children can use with their peers. The important part for these early interactions is that each child has a clear “role” in the interaction, and that an adult is nearby to help each child to take their turn. 

Continue reading

Doorway to Success

At our childcare MIFO des Pins, we have implemented a way for toddler, preschool and school age educators to encourage one another by posting words of encouragement and thank you messages to colleagues. This enhances our sense of belonging and motivates and values our strengths as a team.

Take Turns with your Child to Build Strong Communication Skills

Communication starts at birth. Parents who talk to their baby, observe, follow, and play with their children play a crucial role in supporting communication development. One important skill is turn-taking. Turn-taking skills are an integral part of communication in young children.

What exactly is “turn-taking” skills?

Turn-taking skills can be compared to the ultimate “ping-pong” communication game.  It involves the back-and-forth interaction between two people, between you and your child.  Turn-taking skills are the foundation to healthy attachment and communication skills.  Turn-taking skills are built into “serve-and-return” interactions that are so important to build a child’s brain. When you and your baby are actively engaged and practice taking turns during sound play imitation, a peek-a-boo game, chatting, you are laying the foundation for later conversation. 

Continue reading

Outdoor Winter Heavy Work Activities for Kids

Providing deep proprioceptive sensory input through heavy work is a great way to calm your child’s body and there are lots of different heavy work activities that your child can do.

But maybe you’re looking for something new for your child to do since it’s winter?

This list of winter heavy work activities for kids to do outdoors in the snow is a great starting point if you are looking to sneak in some extra sensory diet activities this winter. So bundle those kids up and head outdoors for these simple, yet effective heavy work ideas!

Here’s a list of 20 fun ways for kids to sneak in some heavy work while playing outdoors in the snow:

Continue reading

Encouraging Independence Through Visual Systems

I have been an educator for over 10 years and I believe children learn best when being taught new skills with a hands-on approach. A reoccurring question I have asked myself during my years as an educator is, “how can I best help children to become more independent?”

I have worked with a variety of age groups and at each stage of the children’s development fostering independence is a critical part of the job of an educator. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with many other professionals who also held the same belief and attended many workshops that have inspired me and taught me new techniques to use in my programs.

Continue reading

Annavale Headstart Working During a Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed childcare and schools back in March, we could not have understood the scope of what the following months would bring. The decision to reopen the economy, thrust RECE’s and childcare staff onto the frontlines, and childcare centers needed to make hard decisions about reopening their programs. Childcare professionals needed to return to work safely, and still provide nurturing, joyful, healthy and high quality environments to welcome children during a time that was confusing and wrought with fear and uncertainty. Annavale Headstart was no exception, and the reopening process was undertaken with caution, care and teamwork. One thing was certain, the team approached the decision to reopen with pride, determination and with a solution focused mindset, so that our families and children would be supported.

Continue reading

Create durable reusable easy to clean sensory bags for all ages using FREE wine bags!

Follow 3 simple steps.

Step # 1 – Call ahead to any wine making supply store and ask them to set aside some used wine bags with their lids. They come in two sizes, small and large.

Step # 2 – Clean the wine bags using soap and water then hang the bags upside down with the lid off for a few days or until dry.

Step # 3 – Fill them with desired materials and offer them to the children to explore!

Continue reading

From the CISS Equipment Library: The Benefits of Fidget Tools

One of the ways your Resource Consultant can support your program, is by providing adaptive equipment to support inclusion. Fidget tools are commonly used items to support children during transitions, group time or times of waiting. Transitions are hard for all children and can be especially challenging for children who may have trouble staying still, have a limited ability to wait, or difficulties changing from one activity to another. They may also have challenges processing sensory input and require tools to support self-regulation.

Continue reading

Strategies to Help Your Child Speak Clearly

By Roxane Bélanger, M.O.A., SLP-C, Reg. CALSPO
Speech Language Pathologist,
First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program of Ottawa and Renfrew County

During the pandemic, many parents and educators are wondering how to support children who are learning to speak and use new sounds. Wearing a mask and accessing therapy services can cause concerns for parents with a child presenting with speech sounds difficulty. Many tools and strategies are at your fingertips.

Continue reading

Mindfulness

Nowadays, life can be hard, hectic and stressful. Moreover, everyday life during a pandemic increases our stress levels which can impact our well-being. Right now, we are facing constant distractions, such as social media, and we are worried about what the future holds.

We feel our mind jumping from one idea to another without stopping. So I asked myself a question … How can we regain our balance and catch our breath to calm our mind?

Continue reading