With the leaves falling all around us and our rakes working overtime, it's a great chance to teach our kids about why the trees lose their leaves and the transitions through the four seasons. We took a corner in our basement playroom and we talked about making it a full four season tree.
Get started with Fall: momstown got busy creating a large wall tree on the playroom wall and spent a morning making apples and leaves to fill it.
Here's what you need to make it:
Brown card stock or construction paper
Here's what you need to do:
1. Create a tree using brown construction paper or card stock. You can tape sections together to create a larger than life creation!
2. Trace your handprint to create the green, yellow and orange leaves.
3. Tape the leaves and apples (and a bird's nest!) to the tree to complete your FALL display.
Remove the leaves and create snowflakes in the winter and tape them to the bare branches.
Remove the snowflakes and add back some green leaves and small buds or blossoms.
Add more green leaves and full blooms on the branches.
Quite the discussion point with your child and fantastic resource for learning seasons!
What's YOUR favourite season???
Bullying is a hot topic these days. In the classroom, in the media, at the dinner table.
It's a loaded word, too. Kids know it—say the word 'bully' and you're going to get attention. Unfortunately, I think it's become one of those over-used phrases. Ever heard a mom complain that one toddler 'bullied' another? I sure have. Bullying isn't a 2-year-old grabbing a toy or pushing a friend out of the way. It's a serious, debilitating, sometimes deadly act of cruelty that doesn't have anything to do with the preschool sandbox.
So what should parents know about bullying? I'm not an expert, but I have enough resources and research to share a few things that might help prevent the overuse of the word bully, and get parents thinking about how they can become part of the anti-bullying solution.
What is bullying?
Different resources may definite it differently, but generally three elements are in play:
Aggressive behaviour involving negative actions
A pattern of behaviour repeated over time
An imbalance of power or strength
Not my child!
Maybe your child will never be a bully, or be bullied. But you can bet he or she will be put in the shoes of the bystander during childhood. How a child reacts as a bystander can either escalate or help break the cycle of bullying. It's a critical role for children to understand. Barbara Coloroso gives parents, caregivers, educators and—most of all—kids the tools to break this cycle of violence in her book The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.
What can I do?
1. Educate yourself. Pick up a book, attend a workshop, read online, and find out how to engage your kids in conversation about bullying.
2. Engage yourself in your kids' school. Find out what the Safe Schools or Climate committee is doing this year. Offer to coordinate a parent workshop for your school or community. Many speakers will come free of charge to speak with parent or student groups.
3. Talk to your kids. Keep dialogue open, make sure they know they can come to you and tell you anything.
4. Grow with your kids. Just because you know how to talk to your grade one son about bullying doesn't mean you've got it figured out. Older kids spend more time online and cyberbullying is a form of bullying that has become a huge issue—you need to keep yourself educated and know where your kids are spending time, both online and off.
5. Understand the legislation and your child's rights. The Safe Schools Act (bill 81) put into play in 2000 introduces itself by saying that "a safe school enables learning and teaching within an environment that fosters responsibility, respect and academic excellence."
momstown's engaged in anti-bullying. We advocate for inclusion by building communities of parents and children across Canada. Social play and kindergarten readiness are a key part of our educational curriculum program.
So we're here—we're listening, and we want to be part of the solution, starting with those little tykes in the sandbox.
I think it’s a pretty common feeling parents have in that they sometimes wish their kids were more independent or find that they can't wait until they get a bit older and can do more things for themselves. I'm in this camp too, however lately I found myself not even realizing that in some cases I am already there. But I'm still not enjoying it!
My son will be four in January and he can put on his own shoes, mostly dress and undress himself, etc. I remember thinking when he was a toddler that I couldn't wait until he was able to do some of those things himself. And now he can and I find myself not letting him!
That doesn't make sense now does it? No, it doesn't. The commodity of time is stealing my ability to enjoy his independence. As mentioned above, can he dress himself? Yes. Does it take him way longer to get it done than if I did it for him? Absolutely, yes. And so when we are in a hurry to get out the door, I still sometimes do it for him. I really want to stop! I think it takes away from his feelings of accomplishment. It definitely doesn't help him get any faster at it by reducing the amount of times he gets to practice. And I don't even think it really makes us get out the door that much faster.
Can anyone else relate Kelly from momstown Oakville? Is it hard to let go?