Category Archives: Tip Sheets

Successful Play Dates

Excerpts taken from Be Your Child’s Play Coach
Chapter 11, “TalkAbility” by Fern Sussman

Before you invite another child over to play, help your child feel comfortable around other children by taking him to places where you’re bound to run into them.  Visit playgrounds, parks, petting zoos and even toy stores or family restaurants.  When you meet other children in places like these give your child a model of how to be friendly by smiling and greeting some children every now and then.

Once you decide to have more formal play dates, you’ll need to take a more active role.  Think of yourself as a coach, helping when the “players” need you to keep the play going and standing on the sidelines when all is going well between the children.  Continue reading

Behaviour Guidance Tip – The “You” Statement

Did you know that by using a “You” statement it:
Validates the child’s needs, wants, and feelings by focusing instantly on them.

A child is crying during drop off time, the educator approaches the child and validates her feelings by saying; “You are sad. You miss your mom”. Most often the child will seek comfort and regain control over their emotions because the child feels understood.

Did you know that by using a “You” statement it:
Can help a child deal with not having immediate access to a preferred item. Continue reading

Positive Transition to Preschool

September is always an exciting time for children and parents starting preschool. Along with all the fun associated with new surroundings, new friends, new adults in the child’s life, comes the anxiety about parent and child separating from one another. It’s a very emotional time for parents to leave their child but can be equally scary for some children. This is especially true for children whose first language is not English or for a child with special needs who has not been separated from their parents before. Here are some strategies that we have used to ease the transitions for children, parents and educators.

1. Prior to starting in the program, hold an open house for children enrolled in the group and their parents so that they may meet the other children, parents and educators. Plan your open house so it happens when your centre is in operation. This will provide an opportunity for everyone to experience a preschool day. Continue reading

Strategies for Building Partnerships with Families

  • Create an environment in which parents/guardians are comfortable enough to speak and interact.
  • Value the parents/guardians comments and insights and make use of their knowledge about their child’s strengths and needs.
  • Actively listen to parents/guardians by communicating with words, eye contact, and a posture that promotes open communication.
  • Avoid judgements.
  • Ask questions that will start a conversation about their child and listen to their answers before reacting. Continue reading

Your Library Can Help Children Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play EVERY DAY!

With 33 Branches, 2 Bookmobiles and a strong online and digital presence, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is in your neighbourhood, your child care centre, your child’s classroom and your home. With core values that include “access and inclusion”, “bilingualism”, and “love of reading”, OPL and its employees are great resources. If you are looking for accessible collections, story time programming or expertise related to early literacy, OPL is here to help.

Children’s Services employees offer early literacy programs in the Library and out in the community for example at early learning and care centres and schools. Employees are trained in presenting engaging programs for children and also in educating parents and educators on best practices for preparing children to read. OPL uses a curriculum called Every Child Ready to Read, which is based on five simple practices which parents and caregivers can easily integrate into everyday activities. These practices include: Talking; Singing; Reading, Writing and Playing. Continue reading

Yoga for Children

Tips to Help Teach Children Yoga
The most important things to remember when practicing yoga with children—keep it fun, free and simple! Let your creativity flow and many more good ideas will come.

When working with young children don’t try to make the poses technically “perfect”. At such a young age, the purpose of yoga is to introduce them to, and familiarize them with, the basic concepts of the practice. The essence of yoga is breathing, relaxing, balancing, trying and being good to self and others. Continue reading

Fine Motor Booster Program at Bettye Hyde Co-operative Nursery School

Generations ago children spent the majority of their time outdoors climbing, digging, hanging from trees, running, riding bikes, swinging along with many other body developing activities. Childhood was full of physical activity which developed muscles of the hand to prepare them for school work. Today children can spend the majority of their spare time indoors playing on computers, watching TV and videos and playing video games as early as 2 years old. As a result, it is not uncommon for children’s hand muscles to be immature upon entrance into Kindergarten. Continue reading