Pre-school and balancing a new routine

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 03:25pm
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Starting child care or pre-kindergarten is an important change for both you and your child. It may stir up many different feelings, and will likely affect your daily routine.

Here are some suggestions that might help you cope more easily with this new transition and turn it into Comfort, Play & Teach time!


Your child may need reassurance about her new teacher and learning environment. Prepare her for the new experience by talking about it ahead of time, and if possible, visit the new classroom and meet the teacher. Pre-school will seem more familiar that way, and going there each day may be easier.

Encourage your child to participate in daily tasks like choosing the clothing he will wear to pre-school the next day. Routines can provide him with a sense of predictability and security by enabling him to anticipate what will happen, and will give him some needed control over the new situation.


Both you and your child will have busy days now and will need opportunities just to relax and enjoy each other's company! Remember to set aside special time to go to the library, play at the park, bake blueberry muffins, dance to music or to simply cuddle up together and talk about the best part of your day.

Provide your child with items she will need for playing pre-school with her dolls. She will enjoy showing them how to colour, looking at books, singing the alphabet song, and printing with chubby pencils! Role playing pre-school experiences will help her gain confidence as she practices all the new skills she is learning.


Before bed time, relax and read books together like Franklin Goes to School (by Paulette Bourgeois) or Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (by Joseph Slate). The words and pictures describe typical experiences at school, and will give your child a chance to ask questions and perhaps work out his fears.

Share some of your favourite memories of school with your child. Show him school pictures and tell stories about your classroom, teachers and friends. He can compare similarities and differences between your school experience and his. Most importantly, he will learn that you were once a child and that you understand what he is experiencing now.


How do you balance new routines with your toddler? Was it hard to get a new routine in place when he started child care or pre-school? Share you experience with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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How is play good for your toddler?

by phoenix
Posted January 4 2012 01:40pm
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When children play, they are practicing skills in every area of development: thinking, solving problems, talking, moving, sensing, cooperating and making moral judgments. This natural form of learning is very similar to the real world, because instead of learning one thing at a time, children have to learn - and use - several ideas and objects all at once. Playing is also fun - it makes children happy, and leads to easier and more effective learning.

In the early years, children explore or play by doing the same thing over and over again. For example, toddlers make block towers, just to knock them down. This repeated practice helps learning and builds confidence. Children learn what objects are like, and what they can do with them. They are beginning to make sense of their world.

As children grow, they add make-believe to their play. When children pretend, they are showing what they know. For example, when they put a block to their ear and say "Hello," children are showing that an object can be a make-believe telephone, and that a telephone is used for talking to people. When children build a castle or an airport, they have to think about their goal, and figure out how to make the castle or airport. That involves being creative and solving problems.

In pretend play, children are making sense of the world, trying out things they've learned and seen, and thinking about their feelings. They sort out fantasy and reality. You can tell a lot about what your child is feeling and thinking just by watching her play.

Around the time your child begins school, games with rules become part of play. Games encourage children to use strategy, logic and moral judgments to follow the rules. Board games like Snakes and Ladders, card games and team sports are all games with rules that help children learn to take turns, negotiate, problem-solve and get along with others.

Video Alert!
Watch our Toddler Playtime video to learn how to incorporate Comfort, Play & Teach into the playtime you spend with your toddler.

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Helping your toddler deal with her feelings

by Maxine
Posted December 17 2010 11:51am
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It's a good idea to help your toddler learn to manage his emotions, but remember you don't want to stop young children from having feelings all together. It's much better to help your child learn better ways of dealing with his feelings instead. Here are several things that you can try:

Try to set a good example for your child. When you find yourself getting upset or frustrated, try saying things out loud like, "I'm sure I can get through this if I slow down and think about it." This is a great way to teach your child how to calm himself down and remain in control.

Help your child put what she is feeling into words - teach her what to call different types of feelings.

Talk about the way people in storybooks and pictures are feeling, and talk about what might cause those feelings.

Explain that you understand she's upset or angry, but at the same time let your child know that some behaviours, like hurting others or constantly whining, are not acceptable.

Take your child's feelings seriously and acknowledge how he is feeling. Never say "It's not such a big deal" or "Why are you so upset about that?" Instead, help your child understand that many people have similar feelings on occasion, and some people have them more often. Then discuss the acceptable ways to express them.

Be a positive influence when your child does get upset - by helping to calm him and change the situation into something more positive.

Avoid labeling your child by his feelings, such as "He's always been an angry boy" or "She can't help it, she's shy." Too often, a child will start to believe what is being said, and live up to the label.

If your child's control of her emotions doesn't seem to be improving, consult your child's physician for referrals to appropriate family services in your area.


How do you help your toddler cope with her feelings? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents just like you!


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by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 11:31am
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Dehydration happens when the body doesn’t have enough water to carry out its normal jobs.

Toddlers can become dehydrated quickly and need to be watched carefully. This is especially true during hot weather and illnesses such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Watch for signs of dehydration when changing routines, giving new foods or even changing water sources.

The symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Crying with few or no tears
  • Slightly dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Fewer wet diapers than usual
  • Fewer dirty diapers than usual
  • Less active
  • More sleepy or tired than usual
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irritable
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Severe dehydration includes the following symptoms:

  • Very dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Skin that stays stuck together and doesn’t spring back when it’s gently pinched then released
  • No urine or wet diapers
  • Intense thirst
  • Your child is difficult to arouse or does not recognize you
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Cool, grayish skin colour
  • Very lethargic
  • Loss of weight

When mild dehydration occurs, there are steps you can take to stop this:

  • Offer your child fluids frequently
  • Offer fluids such as popsicles, freezies, or water every hour. Consult your doctor before giving any over-the-counter re-hydration fluid.
  • If you can’t get your child to re-hydrate herself, call her doctor or go to the children’s after-hours clinic. If neither is available, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. It’s always better to take a dehydrated child to medical experts sooner rather than later. Re-hydrating quickly is very important.

If severe hydration occurs, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

You can prevent dehydration in your child by frequently offering her fluids she would normally take. Watch for signs that dehydration is getting worse. This is especially true when she has vomiting or diarrhea.


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