Going on a nature walk is a simple activity that will keep your child busy, full of curiosity and engage their senses!
Now that our province is slowly re-opening, parents may be feeling the time crunch between preparing meals. Often times it’s easier and faster to cook meals without extra little helping hands but cooking together with your children is a fantastic learning and bonding experience for both of you!
In the kitchen children learn many things including the exploration of cultural dishes, counting, hand-eye coordination and new words to add to their ever-growing vocabulary.
Here are two ways we can simplify the cooking process with our little ones! First is a Bean Burrito recipe you can make together and next is the “What’s On My Plate” activity (just talking about food makes me hungry). 😋
Bean Burrito Recipe
What’s on my Plate Activity
Both these tip sheets are from Decoda.ca. Decoda is a wonderful web resource stocked full of family friendly activities – be sure to check it out! 😊
PRO TIP: An easy goal is to set aside one meal a week you plan to cook with your child’s help and assistance. Get them involved in the process right from the beginning: ask them what they’d like to eat, make a grocery list together and challenge them to try a new food each time.
I have found that picky eaters deny certain ingredients because they are new or unknown, so if you try to introduce it during the preparation stage, they will have the power of knowing what to expect.
Have fun in the kitchen!
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected
Hello everyone! Today I will be sharing a few information sheets from the Nobody’s Perfect parenting program that is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. CFS Regina runs this program in house twice a year. Give us a follow on our social media channels for updates on when the program will be taking place!
A lot of the time it’s easy to sit back and examine our lives under a microscope while removing ourselves from the equation. We begin to wonder why things are the way they are or why people act the way they do. However, when it comes to our kids it’s important to always include ourselves in those reflective thoughts.
Our children are who they are because of the stage we set for them to develop their personalities. A lot of what a child learns they learn from us as caregivers, their educators, their peers and the world around them. We often can’t control what happens in the outside world but we can control what happens inside our homes!
The second sheet has two activities, one that is a guide that can be used for building routine with your child and the other shares information on how playing the classic “Follow the Leader” game can build a strong attachment between you and your child.
Remember, our children won’t know what we expect of them unless we do our part in showing them.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, Stay Connected!
Through the past couple of weeks I have come across parents struggling to explain to their children why they can’t play with their friends. A virus is a tough concept to grasp, especially because it’s invisible!
One way to open up discussion on the topic might not be a formal explanation but rather an action plan for when staying all day has your kids feeling cooped up, frustrated or worried.
Rosita from Sesame Street has a great video where she leads everyone through a simple belly breath exercise. At first, Rosita talks about how frustrated she is that she can’t play with Elmo, but by the end of the video she remembers that she can still have virtual play dates with her friend! Rosita explains that when you’re feeling nervous, angry or scared you can breath the yucky feelings away.
You can find the video here: Sesame Street: Learn to Breath with Rosita
PRO TIP: Try to monitor your child’s YouTube consumption as much as possible. Watch videos together and for videos similar to this belly breathing one, engage in the activity with your child. That way you know that your child is absorbing the material appropriately and it’s a great opportunity to bond. Plus, you might also get to relax while you belly breathe with your littles!
Stay Safe! Stay Healthy! Stay Connected!
Most if not all parents are well aware of the stresses that parenting can bring. During those stressful times we often relate to other parents who are experiencing the same trials and tribulations on their parenting journey. I believe as our society progresses we are becoming more interested and willing to learn about our children’s well being, and the stress in their lives. We all face stress at some point in our lives however there are different kinds of stress we experience (for example: positive vs. negative stress).
stress in children
The effects of negative stress on a child can show up in different ways, such as children struggling to sleep at night, sadness or tantrums. When children are very young it is often the job of the caregiver to help our children cope and relieve their stress by providing affection, speaking with a calm tone of voice and being a safe person for a child to exercise emotions in front of.
As children get older it is the job of the caregiver to provide their child with the tools to manage and cope with stress on their own. Seems like a heavy task if you think about it long and hard enough. However, I have a simple tool that comes from the parent program Kids Have Stress Too, created by the Psychology Foundation of Canada called The Stress Spotlight.
The Stress Spotlight is a recognizable symbol that can be used in helping our children understand how to reduce stress in the moment.
- Worried, etc.
At the Yellow Light we CHANGE and use calming activities:
- Deep Breathing
- Busy Bags, etc.
At the Green Light we GO and return to our day:
- Continue Playing
- Continue Learning
- Continue Being You 😊
Hey everyone! It’s a beautiful day outside and I hope you all get to enjoy the sunshine at some point during your day. Our weather seems to be taking a turn for the better, sunny days ahead!
With that, here is a tip sheet on how to have 15 Minutes of Family Fun Outdoors!
So many things we already do with our kids teaches them an abundance of developmental skills, which is great! Always know that you’re doing a great job parenting and that activities don’t need to be overly complicated in order to have a positive impact on your parent-child bond. A simple game of Simon Says works wonders for exercising our children’s brains in the early years. Or the game Red Light, Green Light is another that helps build all sorts of executive functioning like following directions, colour recognition, taking turns, etc..
PRO TIP: Take some time to plan a picnic, enjoy all five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) as you enjoy your snacks together outside!
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With Spring well on its way, this can be a great time to start thinking about little seedlings! Below are two information sheets from Leap BC that include tips on how to introduce our little ones to the knowledge of gardening, where our food comes from and how it grows.
Food literacy plays an important role in a child’s development as food is what helps us grow and will always be a part of every human being’s life. Gardening is a fun way to teach your child about food, where it comes from and how we can grow it! It’s also a great way to keep your little ones occupied at home and help them learn responsibility. 😊
PRO TIP: A simple indoor garden can be made from items that are already in your home, such as seeds from oranges, lemons, beans or other fruits and vegetables. You can use a cardboard egg carton and grab some dirt from your local dollar store (or even outside). Experiment with your little ones as you begin this project, it’s a great opportunity to learn together!
Playing in the dirt is a great sensory experience for young children as well. There are many beneficial nutrients found in soil that our bodies need, especially children. Though dirt and mud may be messy, your child’s sense of excitement & joy makes every outdoor experience worth it.
Remember to be patient with your little ones and yourself as you both learn.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected
Crafting and learning with kids doesn’t always have to be extravagant. Our little ones value the time spent together before they value expensive materials. I have found a great resource from a literacy organization in British Columbia called Decoda Literacy Solutions that I would love to share with you!
To expand on the idea that our little ones value ‘time spent’ vs. ‘end product’, is a quote from the Circle of Security Parenting program:
“Delight in me for my being vs. delight in me for my doing. Sharing both forms of positive emotion are essential for healthy development. Why?Because someone delighting in you for who you are creates a sense of being inherently valuable and lovable. Having a foundation of being valued and loved makes the joy of accomplishment and mastery possible.”
Here are two “Let’s Make It!” info sheets for Toddlers 1-2 years old & Preschoolers 3-5 years old from the Decoda Literacy Solutions website. The “Tips for Parent” portion provides a practical approach on how to exercise delighting in your child for their “being” rather than their “doing”. The sheets remind us to be patient, follow your child’s lead, and learn with your child because not one of us is an expert in all things crafty!
As the weeks go on, I will continue to explore resources similar to the ones posted above. The Decoda Literacy Solutions website (decoda.ca) has a wealth of resources for all parents in our community. Check it out for yourself and simply click on the “Resources” tab, scroll down to “Online Resources” and begin your search!
The resources can be filtered through by category and type, most documents/activities are available as a downloadable PDF so they can be printed.
I would suggest filtering the resources by clicking on “Family Literacy” (on the left). These resources span over many different topics, including but not limited to:
- Active Play
- Indigenous Literacy & Games
- Food Literacy
- Physical Literacy
Most materials can be translated to French as well.
NOTE: The Circle of Security Parenting program mentioned earlier is an eight-week parenting program that CFS Regina runs twice a year. Circle of Security Parenting is an internationally known program that is facilitated in many languages around the world. The program expands on attachment theory and learning how to read children’s/babies emotional cues.
Be sure to follow CFS Regina on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates for when this program will run at our agency!
The Young Parent Program is wishing everyone well during this time!
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and Stay Connected!!